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Glad our decisions not subject to DRS, Narendra Modi jokes with AUS PM Turnbull

Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded the signing of six important agreements between India and Australia with Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull by joking about the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and invoking Steve Smith’s spectacular batting form in the series

cricket Updated: Apr 11, 2017 12:50 IST
Narendra Modi,Malcolm Turnbull,Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull after their joint statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday.(PTI)

The recent happenings on the cricket field have found their way into political discourse through humorous excerpts by Indian premier Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister referenced the events at the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a speech made after six agreements were signed between India and Australia on Monday.

The speech was partly addressed to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is on his first official visit to India since being elected as the Australian head of state in 2015.

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Turnbull’s trip comes just weeks after the conclusion of the four-match Test series between the two nations and PM Modi made light of the serious nature of the visit by joking about the DRS conundrums that plagued both India and Australia during the series.

After the signing of the six agreements, including an agreement between the two countries to cooperatively counter terrorism, Modi said: “In a lighter vein I am, of course, glad that our decisions are not subject to the DRS Review system.”

Australia cricket team captain Steve Smith had infamously been admonished by the Indian media for his part in the ‘brain fade’ controversy during the second Test in Bangalore, when he looked to his teammates in an effort to get inputs on whether he should appeal for a review or not. Aside from that, both teams struggled to accurately use the technology throughout the series.

Friendly play

The series had been hotly contested with Australian media backing its team while pulling up Indian players at opportune moments.

The Australian team had come into the series on poor form and were written off before the series even began with some predicting a whitewash victory for the Indians.

However, the visitors gave a good account of themselves and pulled off a stunning 333-run win in the first Test in Pune. India bounced back to win by 75 runs in the second Test in Bangalore.

The third test in Ranchi was drawn, but India clinched the series and regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by winning the deciding fourth Test in Dharamsala, despite the absence of injured captain Virat Kohli.

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Kohli’s counterpart Steve Smith was the standout player for the visitors as he amassed 499 runs over the four Tests and also notched up three centuries.

He became the first Australian captain to score three tons in a Test series in India.

PM Modi tied all the happenings from the series into his speech with tongue-in-cheek humour.

“Just last month, we witnessed a thrilling conclusion to the Border-Gavaskar trophy. In my speech at the Australian Parliament in 2014, I had spoken of legendary Bradman and Tendulkar.

“Today, Virat Kohli in India and Steven Smith in Australia are shaping the young brigades of cricket,” he added.

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“I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith’s batting, the other Australian captain,” PM Modi concluded.

It certainly seems the bad blood between the Indian and Australian cricket teams has died down after Kohli initially stated he was no longer friends with players of the visiting nation.

Having come together to play in the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Australian and Indian players have been seen getting along quite well.

Most recently, David Warner was applauded for a show of sportsmanship when he paused in the middle of a run to hand Kerala pacer Basil Thampi a shoe which had fallen off while bowling.

First Published: Apr 11, 2017 12:05 IST