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No finals in this battle: India, Australia continue sledging match

WorldCup2015 Updated: Mar 25, 2015 23:56 IST


There's never been any love lost between the Australian and the Indian cricket teams. The fiercest of rivals, their matches are often as much a test of temperament as their skills with bat and ball.

The two teams have made no secret of their mutual dislike, and waste little time reminding each other during games.

In cricket, it's known as sledging, in American sports, it's called trash-talking. Either way, when Australia and India meet on the cricket field, verbal altercations are expected.

For the game's traditionalists, sledging is a blight on the modern version of the so-called 'gentleman's game', a sport synonymous with the virtues of fair play.

But for the Australian and Indian players, it's an accepted part of the game and neither team has any intentions of toning it down in Thursday's World Cup semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"There is going to be sledging, there is going to be banter," the Australian captain Michael Clarke told a news conference on Wednesday.

"It's really important for us to focus on what's important, and that is playing our best cricket. It's not what you say, it's what you do."

The Australians have often been accused by their rivals of taking things too far and the International Cricket Council has warned both teams to be on their best behaviour after a string of incidents during their recent test and one-day warm-up series.

The Australian opening batsman David Warner was fined twice before the World Cup had even begun for his part in two separate on-field rows and risks suspension if he gets embroiled in another row.

"David will be fine," Clarke said."He knows the rules, as we all do, and his rules are no different than the rest of ours. We'll do whatever we have to do to play our best cricket.

The Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma, who was involved in one of the spats with Warner, said his team were not planning to tone things down.

"It's part of the game," Rohit said. "If there is a bit of banter going around, so be it. There will be times where you'll see a lot of bowlers and fielders getting right in their faces. Yeah, there will be times. But as a team, we have to stick to our game plan and try to execute what we've been doing."

"I just hope it doesn't cross the line. We all know as professional cricketers there are boundaries which we don't need to cross. So, as long as it's inside those boundaries, we'll be fine."

Finch says it is tough

Aaron Finch said on Tuesday that India would be a tough hurdle to overcome at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

"They have probably played a lot more cricket here and got used to the conditions, the length you bowl and stuff like that. There's no rocket science; they are batting and bowling well. India are going to be tough to beat," Finch was quoted as saying by

Mitchell Johnson the sledger-in-chief

An otherwise aggressive Warner has stayed away from any on-field controversy after a series of spats with Indian players during the Test series.

"I heard Davey say he wasn't going to get involved in all that stuff," Johnson told Fox Sports.

"Someone's got to do it and I think I might put my hand up. It's part of the game and what happened the other day with Shane (Watson) and Wahab (Riaz) I thought was exceptional, the way they played the game," Johnson said.

Perfect time to beat says Kohli

Keeping in mind their winless performance against Australia this summer, India vice-captain Virat Kohli said on Tuesday that it is the perfect time to beat the co-hosts and break that sequence.

"There couldn't be a better time for us to beat Australia. It's an opportunity for us to do justice to the way we've played so far in Australia,and we haven't had the results," Kohli was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA).

Best pace attack

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee termed the current Indian pace attack as the "fastest ever" to have emerged from the cricket-crazy nation, with Mohammed Shami being the "most impressive" among the trio in the World Cup.

Although his heart is with Australia, Lee felt India do have a good chance to win the semi-finals against the hosts. "I think India do have a very good chance to win the game. I will obviously always back Australia being an Australian player. But having said that, India have got a great side and have great momentum going. So as I said it is going to be a tough game and I am looking forward to Thursday."