India vs Australia: ‘It’s never fun to see’ - Ajit Agarkar reveals why watching the India-Australia white-ball leg was ‘killing’ Glenn McGrath
There’s something different about India’s ongoing tour of Australia. Although there is no shortage of action with both teams fighting neck-and-neck, before Australia won the ODI series, followed by India’s spirited comeback to claim the T20Is, there is something unusual about the two teams. India and Australia, over the years have been at each other’s throats, but this time around, the intense rivalry which the teams used to share, seems to have turned into a friendly one.
The biggest example of it was when Australia captain Aaron Finch was hit on his abdomen during one of the ODIs, India’s KL Rahul and Yuzvendra Chahal approached him and after jokingly checking on him, all three shared a laugh, a behaviour which is rare among India’s and Australia’s players. Weighing on the same. The reasons can be many, but it primarily has to do with all these players playing together in the IPL, which did not take place too long ago.
Weighing on the same, former India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar pointed out how there seems to be a lack of competitiveness in the current India-Australia series and hopes the dynamics change a little as India get set to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a four-Test series against Australia starting Thursday in Adelaide.
“It seems that way,” Agarkar said on the Sony Sports Network when asked if the India-Australia series has been too friendly. “IPL has made the situation between teams better. But it’s never fun to see. Watching the white-ball leg, it was killing Glenn McGrath. I have played a series against him and although I don’t remember him sledging much, there was always some or the other form of talking. You can feel it… there doesn’t need to be much things spoken and the competitiveness could still be there.”
Recall the sight of Michael Slater getting into Rahul Dravid’s face in the 2001 series after a catch was turned down by the third umpire, or Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli having a verbal go at each other. The mind harks back to the Sydney Test of 2008, which is still known for a lot of unpleasant reasons. In fact, even during the previous Test series between the two sides, Tim Paine and Kohli engaged in a bit of chatter, and of course, there was the friendly banter between Paine and Rishabh Pant. Will the world see something similar this time around? Agarkar has his doubts.
“At times, it is a bit friendly. I know it’s different with every individual and what works for you, you should try and do, but you still want to see that competitiveness,” Agarkar said. “I think that’s what got India over the line in the previous series and how well they played. You could see Virat Kohli there and as long as it doesn’t get out of hands, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a bit of chirping.”