Aggression is fine, but…
In what can easily be termed as an incredible series and one that also boosts Test cricket as a whole, Team India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 verdict against Australia in Dharamsala on Tuesday. The seventh successive series triumph, which is a rarity these days, marked a surreal icing on the cake to what was India\'s busiest home season ever.
In what can easily be termed as an incredible series and one that also boosts Test cricket as a whole, Team India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 verdict against Australia in Dharamsala on Tuesday. The seventh successive series triumph, which is a rarity these days, marked a surreal icing on the cake to what was India's busiest home season ever.
On their part, the Australians, who were expected to suffer a 0-4 humiliation, will go back with their heads held high. If cricket was the eventual winner because of the pulsating turn of events the four-game series provided, the bad blood that flowed all through was unbecoming of professional cricketers as it comes across as a horrendous and unforgivable slap on the face of a sport that’s reverentially hailed as ‘gentleman’s game.’
There is no denying that the team from Down Under, by their inglorious acts of omissions and commissions, actually lived up to the dreaded ‘sledgers’ tag. For all the magnificent exploits by some performers from both sides, the unsavoury on and off-the-field rowdy-like developments have rendered more harm to the sport than anything before.
From the very moment the 'Brain Fade' comments were made by the visiting team skipper Steve Smith, there was the likelihood of the series assuming a dangerous dimension, which it did. Of course, the Australians, including their media and Cricket Australia, ought to be condemned for stooping down to the levels they did with the character assassination of Virat Kohli.
Indian media has also to be blamed for going overboard against Australians for using derogatory four-letter words. This on-the-spur of-the-moment swearing is commonplace in professional sport. In fact, in individual disciplines they are ‘means’ used by players, more out of frustration, to bolster themselves when the chips are down. A look at history shows that Indian cricketers are no saints either. Foul-mouthed reactions are one too any.
It is pretty clear that even though the players and captains shook hands on the completion of a particularly volatile Test series, the picture-perfect moment was only meant to be frozen for posterity. This gains credence when one reads through the statements made by the rival skippers.
Steve Smith seemed genuine in his apologies for the anti-Murali Vijay blabber. Unfortunately, his Indian counterpart was outright outlandish with his sweeping remark that ‘Australians’ have ceased to be his friends. That was a tad too harsh by a captain who described the series win as the finest chapter in Indian history. Showing a bit of maturity in approach and swearing by the ‘let bygones be bygones’ philosophy would have been the best anti-dote.
Truth to speak, such ‘sweeping’ words have not been collectively used against Pakistanis till date. One wonders how Australians will react when they have to play with or against Kohli in the tenth edition of IPL, which is round the corner. Launching a virulent attack at a personal level is not only unpardonable but something that the International Cricket Council (ICC) must take serious note of and ring in effective deterrents if the ‘gentleman’ tag has to be salvaged.