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Narendra Modi takes a dig at DRS during interaction with Australian PM

Modi used cricket analogies in his speech that was partly directed to Turnbull.

Modi to Turnbull, “I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith’s batting.”

What’s the story?

Earlier on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked the recent happenings on the cricket field to conclude the signing of six significant agreements between India and Australia with Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull.

The concluding speech was partly addressed to Turnbull, as Modi said, “In a lighter vein I am, of course, glad that our decisions are not subject to the DRS Review system.”

With tongue-in-cheek humour, Modi managed to incorporate all the happenings from the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar trophy into the political discourse.

He said, “Just last month, we witnessed a thrilling conclusion to the Border-Gavaskar trophy. In my speech at the Australian Parliament in 2014, I had spoken of legendary Bradman and Tendulkar. Today, Virat Kohli in India and Steven Smith in Australia are shaping the young brigades of cricket.”

“I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith’s batting, the other Australian captain,” Modi concluded.

The context

During the hotly contested Test series between India and Australia last month, Australian skipper Steve Smith was infamously ambushed by the Indian media for his ‘brain fade’ moment in the second Test. He had looked towards the dressing room in an effort to get advice on whether to opt for the DRS or not.  Throughout the series, we have seen both teams struggling to use the technology with much success.

However, it was the toughest challenge of the season for the Indians. The Australian team had arrived on the back of a poor run of form and everyone had written them off, predicting a whitewash in favour of the Indians. But the visiting team sprung a surprise and gave a good account of themselves.

Although India lost the first Test, they bounced back and regained the trophy after winning the series 2-1.

Related: Virat Kohli believes Steve Smith crossed a line with DRS incident

The details

Turnbull is on his first official visit to India after being elected to the office in 2015. His trip comes just weeks after the conclusion of the series and the Indian PM could not help but refer to the series in an effort to lighten up the serious nature of the visit.

In his speech, Modi joked about the DRS conundrum but the winner was his concluding line. Steve Smith had been the standout player of the series as he notched up three hundreds and amassed 499 runs and comparing it with Turnbull’s visit was the highlight of his speech.

What’s next?

The Australians and Indians are currently playing together in the Indian Premier League and we have already seen signs of repair. In the coming weeks, one will hope that the bad blood between the cricketers of the two nations indeed dies down.

Author’s take

The way Modi drew cricket analogies to describe the political ties between India and Australia is certain to please the cricket aficionados. At the end of the day, it was yet another instance that showed that the PM has a great sense of humour.

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