India-Australia series always offers us top-notch quality cricket. It also comes with a plethora of dramatic moments and controversies. Recently concluded series which saw India reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by virtue of a 2-1 series win also had no dearth of such instances.
The four-match series witnessed innumerable occasions where controversy took center stage, giving us plenty to talk about off the field too. Here is a look at some of those controversial moments which made the series a cut above the rest:
Steven Smith’s brain fade moment – The DRS controversy
Perhaps the most volatile moment of the series, this incident came in the Australian second innings in the second test at Bangalore. Chasing a target of 188, Australia was precariously placed at 74/3. The 22-yard in Chinnaswamy was offering uneven bounce and Steven Smith became its latest victim as he has adjudged LBW to Umesh Yadav.
With the Aussie skipper looking towards the dressing room asking for inputs as to whether he should opt for the review, umpires and a furious Virat Kohli intervened, ensuring Smith walk back to the pavilion. A lot followed next as Kohli lashed out as Smith, and even BCCI lodged a complaint with ICC. Both BCCI and CA signed truce shortly thereafter, this controversy made a lot of headlines and will forever remain in the cricket's epic tale.
Virat Kohli’s debatable LBW decision
This too happened in the Bangalore test in the Indian 2nd innings. Umpire Nigel Long had declared Virat Kohli out LBW, a decision which the Indian skipper instantly reviewed. With replays failing to provide conclusive evidence as to whether the ball hit the bat or pad first, the third umpire had no choice but to go with on-field umpire’s decision.
There was plenty of debate with this as Kohli seemed quite sure that the ball hit the bat first. However, in the end, he was given out, much to the dismay of the Indian fans. Not only the hosts lost their most important batsmen but also a valuable review. Yet, it was India who had the last laugh in the match.
Australian media accuses Kohli and Kumble of indecent behavior
The war of words continued after the second test as Australian media ‘The Daily Telegraph’ accused Indian skipper Virat Kohli of throwing a bottle at an Australian official. The same also addressed coach Anil Kumble as a ‘puppeteer’ behind the scenes.
The report mentioned, “Kohli might be the aggressor in the brazen campaign India is running against Australia’s integrity — even striking an Australian official with an orange Gatorade bottle — but coach Kumble, one of the main instigators of the Monkeygate fiasco, would appear to have reclaimed his role as the puppeteer behind the scenes.” Interestingly neither Kohli nor Kumble chose to comment on the issue.
Aussie media compares Kohli to Donald Trump
After the third test ended in a draw where Virat Kohli suffered a shoulder injury, the very same Australian daily compared the Indian skipper to new US President Donald Trump. According to their report, Kohli accused the Australian players of disrespecting Indian physio Patrick Farhart.
The daily said, “Virat Kohli has become the Donald Trump of world sport. The Indian captain is a law unto himself with no one – not even the ICC or his own board – holding him accountable for his continual perpetuation of fake news.”
T 2471 – Aussi media calls Virat, Donald Trump of sports !! … thank you Aussi media for accepting that he is a winner and the PRESIDENT !! pic.twitter.com/ZOoNtuhtC2
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) March 21, 2017
As expected, this comparison was not accepted gleefully in the Indian cricket fraternity. Starting from former and current players to a global icon like Amitabh Bachchan, all slammed the media for their poor antics
Steven Smith calls Murali Vijay a cheat
The latest to happen in the unending series, Steven Smith used expletives and called Murali Vijay a cheat after the Indian claimed to hold on a catch that flew off Josh Hazlewood’s bat. After giving the soft signal as out, the on-field umpires referred to the third umpire as there was a slight possibility of the ball touching the ground.
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_M_FOX) March 27, 2017
The third umpire overturned the decision and ruled it in the batsman’s favor. However, Smith was seen from the dressing room addressing Vijay as a cheat, something which did not go well with the Indian fans.
Only time can tell whether the estranged relation between the players and boards of these countries will mend in future. But this India-Australia series will always be considered as a fiercely-fought and controversy-ridden one, something that will be talked for years to come!