Aus­tralia still pay­ing for sins of the past

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - RICHARD EARLE

AUS­TRALIA is be­ing held hostage by its ball-tam­per­ing sins, with coach Justin Langer in­di­cat­ing his men must en­dure a dou­ble stan­dard around on-field ac­tions.

At Ade­laide’s Test match din­ner, Langer promised his side “wouldn’t be Zen monks’’ at home post-Sand­pa­per­gate.

How­ever, Aus­tralia has ac­tively tem­pered on-field be­hav­iour in the Bor­der-Gavas- kar se­ries opener. In­dian skip­per Vi­rat Kohli con­tin­ued his hyped-up dis­missal cel­e­bra­tions dur­ing Aus­tralia’s first in­nings 235. Langer con­ceded Aus­tralia would be harshly judged if it ex­hib­ited over-thetop wicket cel­e­bra­tions like Kohli in the af­ter­math of the Cape Town ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal.

“We’ve talked for as long as I can re­mem­ber in Aus­tralian cricket teams that you want to keep the op­po­si­tion cap­tain down as much as pos­si­ble. You love see­ing that pas­sion in sport,” Langer told Fox Sports Cricket.

“Mind you, I think if we did that at the mo­ment, we’d be the worst blokes in the world. It’s a fine line, isn’t it?”

In­dia’s bats­men es­caped send-offs syn­ony­mous un­der banned Test skip­per Steve Smith’s watch.

The barbs — once ex­pected as Aus­tralia pushed for wick­ets and were de­nied by suc­ces­sive de­ci­sion-re­view ver­dicts on day three — were ab­sent.

Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the era when for­mer Aus­tralian skip­per Michael Clarke told Eng­land tailen­der Jimmy An­der­son to get ready for “a bro­ken arm”.

Par­ti­san Ade­laide fans even at­tracted so­cial me­dia crit­i­cism for boo­ing vil­lain Kohli as the king­pin strode out to bat — en­cap­su­lat­ing the self-flag­el­la­tion mark­ing Aus­tralian cricket.

Langer re­fused to take the bait of leg­endary In­dian bats­man and con­tem­po­rary Sachin Ten­dulkar who said Aus­tralia’s bats­men — its most in­ex­pe­ri­enced top six since World Se­ries — was play­ing with a “de­fen­sive mind­set” in Ade­laide.

“The teams that Sachin would have played against started with Al­lan Bor­der and David Boon, and Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh, and Ricky Ponting,” Langer said.

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