It's among the most hyped and competitive rivalries in world cricket, but the current India-Australia series down under is now being called 'too friendly'. The tour, happening straight after the IPL where most of the players from both squads were involved, has seen multiple 'friendly' moments; KL Rahul and Aaron Finch sharing a laugh after the latter got hit on the belly being one of the highlights.
With India losing both the One-Day International matches so far, former India pacer Zaheer Khan called for the team to 'pick that fight' while sticking to the boundaries.
"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 (sandpapergate),” Khan said on Cricbuzz Live.
"At times when things aren’t going your way you just have to find something to bring out that intensity.
"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.
"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."
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 29, 2020
Michael Vaughan, meanwhile, recalled that Australians were a lot more aggressive in his playing days and hoped the current era doesn't see cricketers becoming too friendly.
"I just think we’re in a different era of the game,” he said on Cricbuzz Live.
"You only have to go back 10, 15, 20 years, the Australians were pretty much in everyone’s faces with words and body language. I don’t think they went over the top, I just think it was the way they used to play the game.
"Whereas now, the players are generally teammates. Most of the Australian team are teammates with the Indian players through the IPL franchises, and I think that’s made a massive difference in the world game, these franchise leagues.
"In our times and through our careers we weren’t really teammates with any of the opposition in international cricket, so you didn’t really know anybody, so you didn’t get that friendship. It almost became a little bit more in your face, probably a little bit more hostile to opposing international players.
"Now, if they’re not teammates, one of their teammates is a teammate with the opposing side.”
"I like a bit of confrontation on the pitch. I hope we’re not going to go for an era where it becomes friendly and everyone’s patting each other on the back."