Cricket has gained immense popularity over the last few years because of the T20 format. The players are earning an incredible amount of money from the T20 leagues, but they are also working a very tight schedule now. Back in the 1990s and 2000s, this sport was all about rivalries. The enmity between England and Australia has a long history, while India vs. Pakistan is another rivalry that fans love to watch.
Talking about rivalries in cricket, another battle that draws many fans towards their TV screens is the one between India and Australia. Two of the most successful teams in the game’s history have taken part in several nail-biting encounters. On many occasions, the tension levels have got the better of the players as they try to break the concentration of their opponents via sledging.
While the Australian players are known for sledging their enemies, the Indians have given them a fitting reply in the recent few matches. Here’s a look at the top 7 sledging incidents in ‘India vs. Australia’ rivalry.
David Warner pulls the leg of Varun Aaron
When India toured Australia in 2014-15, the cricket world received a significant shock as Australian opener Phil Hughes passed away after a bouncer from Sean Abbott hit him brutally. It seemed like the Australians would refrain from sledging and play the series like a gentleman. However, during the Adelaide Test match, Aussie opener David Warner mocked Varun Aaron.
The Indian quick had rattled the left-handed batsman’s stumps. But, unfortunately, the delivery was illegitimate as Aaron had overstepped. Warner returned to his crease, and after leaving the next ball, he shouted: “Come on!”
Gautam Gambhir receives a ban for elbowing Shane Watson
The Border-Gavaskar trophy has witnessed several iconic innings in its rich history. However, the 206-run knock played by Gautam Gambhir at the Feroz Shah Kotla will go down as one of the best Test innings ever. The entire Australian team tried to destroy the left-handed batsman’s concentration by coming in his way when he ran between the wickets and hurling abuses at him.
Gambhir kept his calm and focussed on his game until Simon Katich tried to have a war of words with him. The Delhite lost his cool, and the two rivals had a heated exchange. Also, Gambhir had elbowed Watson when the all-rounder tried to interrupt him from taking a single. Ultimately, Gambhir earned himself a one-Test ban.
Tim Paine asks Rishabh Pant about his plans
During the recently played Test series between the two teams, Australian captain Tim Paine tried to get under the skin of the upcoming Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant, by asking him about his plans. In Paine’s opinion, Pant would have to leave the team after the Test series because MS Dhoni would take over the wicket-keeping duties.
Thus, he first asked Pant to play for Hobart Hurricanes before asking him this hilarious question:
“Do you babysit? I can take my wife to the movies while you watch the kids.”
Virat Kohli gives a fitting response to James Faulkner
Before the T20 World Cup in 2016, India and Australia collided in a limited series. The Indian team whitewashed the hosts in the T20I series, with Virat Kohli being the squad’s star. However, in the ODIs, the Aussies dominated the visitors as they chased down 300+ scores in the first two games.
Kohli continued his purple patch in the 50-overs format. To shift his focus in the third ODI game, Australian all-rounder, James Faulkner tried to sledge him. The Indian batsman silenced him with the following words:
“You’re wasting your energy. There’s no point. I’ve smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl!”
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine’s war of words
Another incident involving the Indian skipper Virat Kohli is from the 2018-19 Test series between the two teams. India had taken a 1-0 lead in the series. Since the home side did not have the services of Steve Smith and David Warner, the Indian team was very confident. However, this confidence seemingly turned into overconfidence during the second Test.
Standing in the slip cordon, Kohli tried to pull Tim Paine’s leg by saying that India will soon go 2-0 up in the series. Paine replied: “You’ve got to bat first, big head.” Ultimately, Australia won the match by 146 runs.
Matthew Wade loses his cool on Virat Kohli
During the 2017 ODI series between India and Australia, the two sides met at the Eden Gardens. India batted first in that match and got off to a good start. In the 33rd over of the innings, Marcus Stoinis’ delivery hit the wicket-keeper Matthew Wade on his arm, which allowed the Indian batsmen to steal a bye.
Although Virat Kohli did not go against the rules by taking a bye, Wade insulted his decision during the overs change. He said to Kohli:
“I might have a cry like you. I might go to the dressing rooms and have a good cry like you. Everyone has to feel sorry for you.”
Virat Kohli silences Mitchell Johnson with his batting performance
Virat Kohli had failed miserably in the 2015 World Cup semifinal against Australia. A retired Mitchell Johnson tried to remind him of his failure ahead of India’s decisive match against Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup. The left-arm quick referred to Kohli’s pre-match press conference wrote the following words on Twitter:
“Love it!! Went missing in WC semi-final the last yr when it really counts.”
As everyone knows, Kohli played an epic knock in that game, scoring 82 runs and guiding the Indian team to a memorable win.