Ahead of the clash of the cricketing giants, in a full-fledged bilateral series from November 21st, verbal tussles reignite the sledging war between Australia and India.
The Indian captain, Virat Kohli has promised not to go looking for trouble and he wants a sledge-free tour of Australia but in the same breath, he assured of retaliation if Australia plays dirty down under starting this month.
Given the history of their bitter rivalry, sparks are inevitable from both sides no matter how quiet and peaceful they claim to be. No tour of Australia has been a gentle one for India where they never had the charm to win a Test series. This time, however, there is a transition in the Australian cricket culture as Smith and David Warner are banned for one year over their roles in the infamous ball-tampering scandal.
Under their new captain, Tim Paine the Aussie team is now expected to play with a smile and be nice on the field. Kohli never got along with Smith and it remains to be seen how Paine lead team perform against Team India and its fierce captain.
Ahead of the team’s departure, Virat Kohli told the press, “When it comes to getting engaged in an argument in the field, I have been completely OK playing without an altercation. I have enough belief in my ability to play without a reason to pump myself up.”
In response retired pacer Mitchell Johnson took a dig at Kohli while the fast bowler Pat Cummins commented that he will be surprised “if he (Virat Kohli) doesn’t” given the competitive nature of him in the field.
In the 2017 Indian tour of Australia for a four-match Test Series, SteveSmith’s decision to look at the Australian dressing room for help with the DRS in the Bangaluru Test lured the fury of the Indian players. Another tweet showing Smith mocking Kohli’s shoulder injury also raised on-field spat between the two sides.
Keeping a lid on emotions will be very significant for both the teams but history speaks otherwise. Let us hope for a fair and square game both on and off the field when India and Austalia battle it out for the ultimate cricket supremacy.