It’s no love lost between the Indian and Australian cricketers as bad blood has flown between the two teams before the two boards came to a truce in the ongoing four-Test series. The Australian media has added more grist to the tension between the two teams. In an article, it has likened Indian skipper Virat Kohli with US President Donald Trump. Headlined ‘Virat Kohli’s Donald Trump-like contempt for the truth making a mockery of the game’, an Australia daily wrote that the Indian captain is a law unto himself with no one — not even the ICC or his own board — holding him accountable for his continual perpetuation of fake news. It went on to say that just like President Trump, Kohli decided to blame the media as a means of trying to hide the egg smeared right across his face. The article came after the third Test at Ranchi when Glenn Maxwell mocked Kohli’s injury by holding his right shoulder. What followed, due to some tricky camera angle, was a clipping that showed even Australian skipper Steve Smith mocking the injury. However, it turned out that it was a teammate’s arm on Smith’s shoulder. Realising the mistake, the broadcaster immediately apologised but when the Australian batted in the second innings, Kohli was seen reacting with the shoulder act. This did not go down well with a section of the Australian media who felt Kohli too should have apologised. The relations between the two teams had turned from bad to worse in the second Test in Bengaluru when Kohli accused Smith of taking help from the dressing room on a couple of DRS (Decision Review System) decisions. The Australians took offence and went ballistic against Kohli. A few former players too joined the chorus. There have been mixed reactions to this latest vitriolic attack. However, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke came out strongly in support of Kohli when he said some two or three Australian reporters were trying to tarnish Indian skipper’s image.
Those following Aussie cricket and media are not surprised with their aggressive postures. The Indians in the past were always at the receiving end whenever a match was played against the Aussies. They would pile on the misery on batsmen with their non-stop sledging. For many years, the Indian team was silent before former Indian skipper and now a commentator Sunil Gavaskar revolted against the Australians in the eighties. It was the likes of Ravi Shastri, Sourav Ganguly and now Kohli who have taken aggressive postures to stop the Australians. Sledging is part of modern day cricket. It is no more a gentleman’s game. But there should be a ‘Lakshman Rekha’. If the teams transgress, it is not cricket and relations can sour. It will be in bad taste. It’s time this is nipped in the bud.