India vs Australia: ‘They have to pick that fight’, suggests Zaheer Khan as on-field rivalry turns friendly
India’s tour of Australia in the past years had always been hyped for the intense rivalry between both sides. Be it the infamous ‘Monkey Gate’ episode in 2008 or the rift between Virat Kohli and former quick Mitchell Johnson in 2014, India-Australia cricketing history is full of numerous anecdotes.
But this year, the environment seems to be much calmer and friendly. Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan feels the same and suggested that Virat Kohli & Co must find a way to bring some intensity into the contest. In a conversation with Cricbuzz, Zaheer stated that the team’s head coach Ravi Shastri – who was known for his banters during his playing days – must encourage the players to take on the hosts.
“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),” said Zaheer on Cricbuzz Live. “At times when things aren’t going your way you just have to find something to bring out that intensity.”
Zaheer further said that indulging in verbal exchanges would help the visitors bring out the best on the field, which is yet to be seen in the tour.
“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.”
Besides Zaheer, cricket fans too were left surprised after witnessing the friendly exchanges between the Indian and Australian players. For instance, after Aaron Finch was hit on his belly during the 2nd ODI on Sunday, KL Rahul went near him and rubbed his belly which the Aussie skipper found funny and both shared a laugh.