The rivalry between India and Australia has seen some unforgettable battles over the years. However, the competition has not been limited to just the bat and the ball. It transcended into other aspects of the game as well.
One such aspect has to be sledging, the art which the Australians have surely mastered. They are known to play their cricket hard, and they always make it a point to be in the opposition’s face all the time.
The India-Australia rivalry has seen many such sledging incidents over the years. It’s not just the Australian cricketers, but the Indian cricketers too have given it back in their own style. One cannot forget the Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar giving it back to his rival Glenn McGrath both with the bat and with the words.
That was one rare incident when a calm Tendulkar sledged his fierce opponent, who was having a go at him. In the modern-day, Virat Kohli is the one who is fiercely competitive and doesn’t mind having a go at the Australians, both with the words and the bat. He is up there to battle it out always.
Here are five times an Indian and an Australian had a go at each other during a match.
1. Virat Kohli & James Faulkner
The chirpy Australian all-rounder said something to Virat Kohli in the third ODI between the two countries in 2016 when Kohli was batting on 73.
Kohli retaliated in his own style by saying, "You're wasting your energy. There's no point. I've smashed you enough in my life. Just go and bowl." Kohli also signalled Faulkner to go back to the bowling crease. He also scored 117 in that match however that went into vain as a Glenn Maxwell blitzkrieg saw Australia home.
James Faulkner really picked the wrong man to have a go at.
2. Sachin Tendulkar & Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath was someone who always loved to have a word or two with the opposition batsman. He also used to deliberately target the best player from the opposition to have a crack at. He and the Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar had some memorable battles that no cricket fan will forget.
However, one of the most memorable incidents happened when the usually calm Tendulkar decided to have a go at McGrath in an ICC Knockout Trophy game in 2000. Sachin who was in a blistering mood that day not only thrashed McGrath all over the park but also hurled some verbal volleys at him. It was uncharacteristic of someone like Tendulkar, but it was pure fun for the Indian fans as they enjoyed the moment.
3. Shikhar Dhawan & Shane Watson
The burly Australian all-rounder doesn’t seem to be too popular with the current crop of Indian players. Shane Watson has always been someone who doesn’t mind to have a go at the opposition.
He has been involved in several heated on-field exchanges between the players. But this time he was left red-faced by the antics of the Indian players. Shikhar Dhawan started the proceedings, and another southpaw Raina carried on as they hilariously mimicked Shane Watson in the final ODI between the two sides in 2013 in India.
Dhawan started mimicking the all-rounder by aping his injury which he suffered during the game. Raina too followed as he too aped Watson’s injury. It did look funny, but Watson didn’t seem to be too happy about that as he got involved in a heated exchange of words with Dhawan.
4. Rohit Sharma & David Warner
This was an ugly incident involving the two openers from both the sides which took place in an ODI between the two sides at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2015. Rohit Sharma took a run off an overthrow as the Australian keeper Brad Haddin missed the throw.
However, Warner didn’t seem to like that, and he got involved in a confrontation with Sharma. Warner even uttered the words “Speak English” to Rohit Sharma and courted criticism from different corners as he was wrong on his part.
Warner later admitted that he was wrong to have involved Rohit in the incident. However, things became so serious on the field that the umpires had to intervene.
5. Virat Kohli & Mitchell Johnson
The former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson and the current poster boy of Indian cricket didn’t only have cricketing battles but had intriguing verbal disputes between them too.
The fast bowler had a go at Kohli during the Test Series in 2014, and the Indian skipper didn’t get bogged down as he too replied with his own set of words. However, despite having the upper hand over Johnson throughout the Test series, Kohli fell to a Johnson delivery in the ICC World Cup semifinal in 2015.