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India vs Australia: India picked the wrong cricketer to sledge, attack

India picked on Mitchell Johnson after the ploy worked well in cutting Brad Haddin's stay in the middle short. But Johnson gave it back with interest on the third day of the second Test in Brisbane.

cricket Updated: Dec 20, 2014 02:57 IST
Sai Prasad Mohapatra
Sai Prasad Mohapatra
Hindustan Times

The Virat Kohli-led India team left for the Australian shores with a promise of being aggressive during their series Down Under. And into the fourth week of the series, India have had enough chances to show their temperament, their attitude of giving it back to the Aussies.

The young India team has been praised by experts and former players for this 'fearless' attitude, a statement well taken.

But Friday changed all that. India picked on Mitchell Johnson after the ploy worked well in cutting Brad Haddin's stay in the middle short. But Johnson, who in the past had flourished when poked, upped the ante and from a position where India could have thought of getting back on level terms in the series, are now staring at a situation where they have to bat out of their skins to prevent going down 0-2.

Rohit Sharma, who was already involved in a verbal battle with the hosts in Adelaide, was at the centre of it. The Mumbai batsman welcomed Johnson to the crease asking him how many wickets he has taken in the match and immediately Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma joined in.

But this time India choose the target wrong, got the timing wrong and the execution terribly wrong. Johnson hit them all around the park as the bouncers, even Yorkers, failed to rattle him.

"Sometime in the match, you get a bit aggressive, sometimes it works, sometimes it can go wrong. It normally happens when a new batsman comes into bat, we try to make him uncomfortable. Obviously in reply they try and connect few balls," said Umesh Yadav.

"Somebody said something and it started. Things are said to our batsmen when they go in to bat. We tried to do different things sensing something might happen," Umesh added.

Michael Clarke saw a dream of a chance in the partnership and has already declared it match-winning. And after breaking the 148-run stand when Ishant saw off Johnson with folded hands, one wasn't sure whether it meant good riddance, thank you or an apology.

First Published: Dec 20, 2014 02:48 IST