India vs Australia: From Monkeygate to Steve Smith's brain fade, controversies that rocked marquee contest

First Published 3, Dec 2018, 4:00 PM IST
India vs Australia: From Monkeygate to Steve Smith's brain fade, controversies that rocked marquee contest
Highlights

Captains Smith and Virat Kohli were involved in a big fight the last time when the two sides played a Test series in March 2017. It was because of Smith's DRS controversy in Bengaluru. The Indian skipper stopped just short of calling the visiting team cheaters.

India and Australia share an age-old cricket rivalry. Now, they are all set to renew it in a four- Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, starting in Adelaide on December 6.

The hosts will be without Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who are still serving bans for the ball-tampering row in South Africa earlier this year.

Captains Smith and Virat Kohli were involved in a big fight the last time when the two sides played a Test series in March 2017. It was because of Smith's DRS controversy in Bengaluru. The Indian skipper stopped just short of calling the visiting team cheaters.

This wasn't the first time India and Australia were involved in an on-field dispute, it dates back to 1981. Let's take a quick look at a few of them.

1. India’s famous victory at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 1981 was marred by a controversial walkout from the match by Sunil Gavaskar. After being adjudged leg-before to a Dennis Lillee delivery and a remark from the same bowler, led to a furious Gavaskar forcing his opening partner Chetan Chauhan to walk out with him. But team manager Shahid Durrani and Bapu Nadkarni, the assistant manager, met the batsmen near the boundary and Chauhan was persuaded to resume his inning while Gavaskar head back to the pavilion.


 

2. In 1986, the tied Test in Madras (now Chennai) saw the Indian team questioning umpire V Vikramraju's leg before decision off Greg Matthews against last man Maninder Singh. Maninder’s batting partner and senior player Ravi Shastri had gone to the umpire's room to give Vikram Raju an earful. Raju’s decision resulted in the game ending a tie, only the second in game’s history.


 

3. Something that didn't go down well with the Aussies during the historic 2001 series was skipper Sourav Ganguly repeatedly keeping his opposite number Steve Waugh waiting for the toss during all three Test matches.


 

4. The infamous 'Monkeygate' scandal during 2007-08 series in Sydney involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds was however the biggest scandal in history. An enquiry commission was set up as Symonds had accused Harbhajan of calling him "monkey" which is considered a racial abuse Down Under. Debatable umpiring decisions also marred the match. Skipper Anil Kumble's now iconic quote: "Only one team played in the spirit of the game" got him applauds from the Indian media contingent who then engaged in a war of words with the then Aussie captain Ricky Ponting.


 

5. Zaheer Khan took a sly dig at Ponting in Mohali in 2010 by calling him "Usain Bolt" after running him out. Ponting came back to have a word with him


 

6. The cricket boards of both countries put out a joint press release to subdue the most recent controversy involving Steve Smith's 'brain fade’ incident in Bengaluru. BCCI said they had worked things out with their Aussie counterparts and “resolved to restore focus” on cricket. During Australia’s tour to India in 2017, Australian skipper Smith asked his dressing room for help with a DRS appeal decision while Virat Kohli caught him in the act (as did the broadcasters), and showed him the route to the dressing room.

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