A game of cricket is not over until the last ball is bowled. And nothing can be truer in the context of the much anticipated 3rd Test match between India and Australia at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). With a target of 407 runs in front of India in the 2nd innings, Australia was hoping for a comfortable victory at the end of the 4th day.
But the tide turned in India’s favour on the 5th day. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant setting the momentum early in the game, an injured Hanuma Vihari and tailender RS Ashwin took the match away from Australia. In an extraordinary display of resilience, grit and determination, the two players battled for 3 hours against Australia’s top pace and spin bowling attack to draw the match. As the game progressed, an impatient and ‘frustrated’ Australian side resorted to on-field shenanigans and unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Unsportsmanlike behaviour of Matthew Wade
Cricket is regarded as a gentleman’s game but Australian player Matthew Wade took to unsportsmanlike behaviour in the hopes of making his team win. When Ashwin steered the ball to him, Wade started acting in a creepy and hysterical way to mock Ashwin’s resilience.
However, Wade did not stop here. He then resorted to physically attacking an already injured Hanuma Vihari by intentionally throwing the ball at his body from close quarters.
Another hit on Hanuma Vihari’s body, with a throw from Matthew Wade yet again. Vihari, who has a hamstring injury, didn’t say a single word on both occasions, and just smiled.#INDvAUS #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/SlH7pz1Yd5— Sohom 💫🏏🎬 (@mastiyaapa) January 11, 2021
Far from apologising, he instead repeated his notorious act and kept smiling.
Unwarranted sledging by Tim Paine interrupts the match
While Australian bowlers failed to make an impact, the captain decided to take the matter in his own hands. In an unwarranted episode of sledging, Tim Paine tried to distract Ashwin’s concentration with his continuous chatter. “Can’t wait for Gabba mate,” Paine said. In a classic response, Ashwin replied, “Come to India, and it would be your last series”.
At one point, the banter reached such an unprecedented level that Ashwin refused to take the strike and directed to the umpire to intervene.
Tim Paine was distracting Ashwin, and said – “Can’t wait for Gabba mate.”— Sohom 💫🏏🎬 (@mastiyaapa) January 11, 2021
Ashwin replied – “Come to India, and it would be your last series”. Ashwin then refused to bat, until Paine stopped his blabbering.
What a solid reply by Ashwin Anna. Like a boss. 😎#INDvAUS #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/1V0VvDKISq
While the intention was to distract Ashwin, Tim Paine ended up losing his own focus in the game. Even though a victory for Australia seemed implausible with just 5 overs remaining, Mitchelle Starc was able to create an opportunity for his team.
Paine, however, dropped a simple, plump catch after Hanuma Vihari nicked off to Starc’s ball and thereby diminishing any chances of a comeback in the match.
Steve Smith removes Rishabh Pant’s guard marks
During the match Australian cricketer, Steve Smith has been accused of shadow-batting at the crease and scuffle out the guard marks made by Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant, forcing him to retake the same. The snippet of the video was shared on Twitter by cricket fan @cricket_badger. The incident happened after the drinks break when the stump camera caught Smith doing the unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Pant had to mark his guard all over again. Cricket fans were upset over Steve Smith’s action. They slammed the Australian cricketer who was earlier found tampering ball and subsequently banned from all forms of domestic and international cricket for a year in 2018.
Racial abuse by Australian fans
During the 3rd day of the Test match, Indian cricketers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj were subjected to racial abuse. An official stated, “BCCI lodged a formal complaint with ICC match referee David Boon about two of their players, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, being abused by a drunk spectator.” Such a spectacle was yet again witnessed during the 4th Day of the 3rd ODI match between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.
After a section of ‘drunk’ Australian supporters hurled racist slurs at Mohammed Siraj, he promptly complained to the on-field umpires. Siraj was supported by all his teammates, including the captain Ajinkya Rahane. The match came to a halt temporarily, with the authorities and security officials desperately trying to find the accused. When Mohammed Siraj pointed in the direction of the stands, the officials quickly investigated the matter and kicked out a group of 4 men, followed by two others, from the stadium.