India-Australia cricket rivalry has witnessed a plethora of heated moments during the course of the past two decades. Whether it is the ‘Monkeygate’ Scandal in Sydney 2008 or the verbal altercation between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson or the Steve Smith ‘Brain fade’ scandal in 2017, these on-field altercations had added an extra dimension to the fierce contest.
But this time, the environment has largely been friendly- a byproduct of Indians and Australians sharing the dressing room together in the Indian Premier League. Former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan has urged the Indian team to dish out some verbal volleys to the Aussies in order to bring intensity on the field, something that has been missing from the Men in Blue.
Khan, during an interaction on CricBuzz Live, urged head coach Ravi Shastri to take a leaf out of old-school cricket and ask his team-members to remind the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner of the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal that left the duo with a 12-month suspension amid worldwide humiliation.
“Knowing the coach Ravi Shastri, he should take a leaf out of old school cricket and maybe remind Smith and Warner about what has happened a couple of years back (sandpaper gate). At times when things aren’t going your way you just have to find something to bring out that intensity.” Zaheer Khan said.
“They have to pick that fight maybe. Not in a bad way — staying in the boundaries and bringing out that intensity at times. Forget about what is going your way, what’s not and just get in the zone, which really helps bring out the best in you,” said Zaheer. “Ravi has been good at it so I think that’s something he should definitely ponder because it’s going to be a long tour. They should try everything and anything possible.” he added.