Added spice in India making for great Test cricket

Andrew Young Roar Pro

By Andrew Young, Andrew Young is a Roar Pro

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    Fiery, spicy, and pretty darn feisty; it’s exactly what we want from Test cricket and, more specifically, it’s what we need, especially in India.

    Two matches, neither of which have gone close to the duration of five days, have created so much intrigue.

    A crushing upset in Pune was always going to draw attention. How could an Australian team, touted by Indian legend Harbhajan Singh as “the worst Australian team to tour India” beat the hosts at their own game in under nine sessions, by 333 runs?

    The conjecture surrounding ‘pitch doctoring’ was inevitable; few however expected for the suggestion that it had gone too far and brought Australia back into the game, levelling the playing field for the likes of Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon, against the mastery of the Indian magicians.

    A fightback from the hosts was assured in Bengaluru; Harbhajan wouldn’t back down, either, refusing to praise O’Keefe and Australia until he saw them on “a good Test match wicket”.

    Needless to say, the pitch that greeted the combatants on March 4 had a touch more life to it, as did the Test it produced.

    Numerous players cited heightened levels of ‘banter’ as a focal point of the match. Virat Kohli and Steve Smith locked horns in the first innings, umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong were regularly required to put out spot fires throughout, and then came the “brain fade” regarding the DRS…

    After finally agreeing, in October last year, to the use of technology to ensure correct decision-making, the system has created the controversy that the BCCI were hoping to avoid. A quick glance to the changeroom for guidance, followed by the use, or not, of a precious review was the process used in multiple instances by the Australians.

    It was astutely picked up on by the Indians, and not so subtly pointed out by Kohli to the umpires, and match-referee.

    Many have suggested his was an overreaction, with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland labelling Kohli’s response as “outrageous”. But such a label really couldn’t be further from the truth; how should we see the Indian captain’s response? Passionate? Tick. Invested? Tick. Standing up for his team and the traditions of the game? Bloody big tick.

    It doesn’t seem right to criticise the Indians for their approach, both on and off the field, in Bengaluru. It recalled memories of the Australians’ attitude during the 2013-14 Ashes series under Michael Clarke, when we got up 5-0. It was a relentless, uncompromising performance, and one that made a whole nation of cricket supporters proud.

    We aren’t the only team that is allowed to play that way. India proved that. The sooner we realise that, the better.

    The second Test was heated, and we loved it. We become invested in matches like the one just gone; they enthral and they captivate. Both teams played aggressive cricket, and it makes for superb viewing and a wonderful contest.

    If we are lucky, the rest of the series will feature just as much tension and flare.

    After all, it is Test cricket.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • March 10th 2017 @ 3:55pm
      brent elms said | March 10th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

      Completely agreed with you there , the 2013/14 ashes when we absolutely steamrolled eng was also quite ill-mannered.
      Australians were all over eng both verbally and mentally. I was thrilled and proud the way we played.so yaa I completely agreed we are not the only ones who are allowed to play like that.This is Australian side is young and much more subdued and Indians on the other hand are aggressive and a lot vocal.we are just getting a bit of our own medicine back and it’s quite bitter, but I don’t care. I love a contest, I love a fight. Our cricketers need to be tough and supporters should be multidimensional not one eyed. If our players can’t take it on the field , if they are not strong enough mentally to fight against all this then they deserve to be crushed just like weak poms in 2013/14 because as you say this is test cricket. But I feel this team is up for a fight and they showed in Pune that they are not here to fill up the numbers.
      Indians are playing the old Aussie way under Kohli and all the proud Aussie supporters should understand that it works both ways.
      Actually I am quite a fan of Kohli , he is one of those guys if he is in your team you will absolutely love him but if in the opposition then you will absolutely hate him. What I like is his own form doesn’t affect his leadership and he hates to lose, he wants to kill opposition mentally on and off the field.
      I am loving the series and as much as I am excited for the ashes I am also as excited for the next year Indian tour of Australia.

    • Roar Guru

      March 10th 2017 @ 5:47pm
      Anindya Dutta said | March 10th 2017 @ 5:47pm | ! Report

      Wow! An article I was disparities I would not see on the Roar this series. Thanks andrew for writing it as you see it. The angst of the “wounded and hurt Aussies” I can understand but the ranting on this site by Aussies who feel they were born with the sole birthright to be aggressive on and off the cricket field has been endemic. This is a breath of much needed fresh air. Can’t wait for the third test to start! Bring it on!

      • Roar Guru

        March 10th 2017 @ 8:36pm
        Anindya Dutta said | March 10th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

        “Despairing” sorry autocorrect!

    • March 10th 2017 @ 8:31pm
      Zozza said | March 10th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

      Aussies can dish it out, but can’t take it. Simple as that.

    • March 13th 2017 @ 9:42am
      RichardC said | March 13th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      Great article written in the present. Two way street, if you give it you must be able to take it! “After all, it is Test cricket.”

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