India and Australia are seeing a lot of each other recently. The competition is fierce and it has evoked strong passions from both sides. Some pundits are lauding the back and forth between players, while others are shaking their head at what they deem to be unseemly.
David Warner for one does not see what the fuss is all about. He has just been crowned as Australia's player of the year and he is of the opinion that ICC's crackdown on players' on-field behavior is a bit of a joke.
"It's been tough with the crackdown of the ICC at the moment – I'm not going to have a pot shot at them but it's becoming a bit of a joke. The players can't celebrate as much. Back in the day I used to love watching Glenn McGrath bowl to the West Indians, and them bowling to us, and the bowlers getting in the faces of the batsmen." he said.
"We know sometimes things might get a little bit out of hand, but that's what we love about the game; we love the contest and it (the crackdown) is really taking away from the bat-and-ball contest." he added.
Warner also offered his view on the ongoing feud between Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and James Faulkner. He said "I think it's fantastic. Virat's a very passionate guy, he leads by example for his country. He sets the tone, and that's what I try to do for Australia as well when I'm on the field. We're always in the camera's vision, it always gets us and we have to cop that on the chin and move on."
Warner has attempted to temper his on-field temper and verbal barrages after shouldering more responsibility for Australia. After the 2015 World Cup he put a sledging ban on himself and muted his on-field chatter.
Not that he found it easy to do so. "It was really hard during that West Indian series not to say much, but I decided just to change it and see how it would go." he said.
Warner also thinks that being aggressive on the field helps him improve his performance. He said, "People think I'm this big, muscly guy that can give it to people on the field and whatnot, but that's just how I play my game, that's how I get up (for the occasion) and it's what helps me strive to succeed for our team."
Warner added that his upbringing in Australian cricket and having to fight for his game played a crucial role in developing his style. He said"It's being in your face, and that's what I was brought up doing playing cricket. I remember grade cricket as an 18, 19-year-old, if you were going to get anywhere, you had to have thick skin because you were getting sledged left, right and centre.”
Virat Kohli has also echoed the sentiments of fighting his way up in a tough nosed environment and how it shaped his attitude. "I come from a city where you always had to fight your way up the system," Kohli said. "And I think things that happen in your life make you mentally tougher and things don't bother you after a while because you know you're working hard enough."
"You don't really go out there and take unnecessary things being said to you from anyone. I follow that in life and I follow that in cricket as well.” said Kohli.