Australia still paying for sins of the past
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 f...ing 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.