The not-so-friendly back and forth — or, the on and off-field sledging if you will — between the Australian and Indian test cricket teams reached a kind of denouement on Tuesday when Indian skipper Virat Kohli publicly said that he no longer considered Australian cricketers his friends. Kohli found the Aussies' conduct during the recently concluded and fiercely-fought Test series, that India won, not quite cricket.
Here is a timeline of the incidents:
- It stared with the second test, when Australian captain Steve Smith was looking for a signal from his dressing room during the second innings as to whether to go for the Decision Review System (DRS). His glances and questioning looks were captured on camera.
- Indian skipper Kohli then just stopped short of calling him a cheat and accused the Australian team of having done the same thing in the past as well. He complained to the Indian management, on-field umpires and match referee, but no action was taken.
- There was also an awkward moment of "brain fade" when Smith appeared to have frozen on the pitch with his bat and bowler Ravindra Jadeja simply bowled him out.
Backing Kohli on the DRS controversy, senior cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said on Tuesday:
"Australia have used 12 referrals and got just one right. I think they got seven out of 16 spot-on before the brain fade controversy. I'm not sure of exact number. But you need to look at this a lot more closely."
- The absence of any follow-up action on Kohli's accusations led to much hard feelings among players as well as fans, and to soothe matters the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia released a joint statement pledging their continued friendship for each other.
- During the third test match, after Kohli hurt his shoulder, it was alleged by some that Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell "mocked" him.
- During the fourth test match, Jadeja and Mathew Wade were involved in constant verbal sparring and Smith was again caught on camera calling Murali Vijay a "f*****g cheat" for allegedly bumping a catch.
- By the time the series concluded, Kohli said that the Indian team's relationship with the Australian team had gone bitter. He went as far as to say that he didn't consider any of them "friends" anymore.
PTI quoted Kolhi saying:
"...No, it [the friendship equation with the Aussies] has changed for sure. I thought that was the case but it has changed for sure. As I said in the heat of the battle, you want to be competitive but yeah I have been proven wrong... The thing I said before the first Test, I have certainly been proven wrong and you won't hear me say that ever again."
On Tuesday, however, Smith, in the traditional Australian manner, asked his IPL teammate Ajinkya Rahane as well as the Indian team out for a round of beer.
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