Finally, players shed mask of camaraderie

Finally, players shed mask of camaraderie

The mask of bonhomie that the Indian and the Australian players were wearing had to come off sooner or later and towards the final session of fourth day’s play, frayed tempers were hotter than the high temperature here on Friday.

“I don’t know if the temperature got to 40 degrees plus but I think it was getting to a few people out there,” said centurion David Warner who was involved in a couple of run-ins with the Indian players.

The left-hander, who received three reprieves en route his second century of the match, was partly responsible for breaking the unwritten ‘peace treaty’ between the two teams when he had a go at Varun Aaron after his dismissal was turned down with replays confirming a no-ball. Aaron was celebrating the wicket with a loud “common” and Warner thought it was a send-off. 

“That’s cricket and it happens. When some decisions don’t go your way, you get bowled off a no-ball, that’s what happens in cricket. They’re always going to come at you and come at you and you have to try to bite your tongue a bit and sometimes you don’t. For him to bowl the no-ball and me to come back in and I sort of went at him a little bit. I shouldn't have, but it got me into another contest and to start again from there. You have to keep riding the rollercoaster as much as you can,” he explained.

While Warner managed to undo some of the ‘damage’ he had done, India’s take on these incidents was strange if not surprising. Ajinkya Rahane, who was sent to face the media on the day, said such player confrontations were good for the game. Rahane isn’t exactly articulate but even when specifically asked if he and the Indian team indeed thought such on-field behaviour was good for the game, he answered in the affirmative.    

“It's going to happen in cricket. Varun bowled that delivery and it was a no ball, that's going to happen in sport. I feel it was competitive and good for the game. It was just for 15-20 minutes. That's going to happen, it was good,” he kept repeating.

Later he sent a clarification through the team’s media manager that he meant to say “it was part and parcel of the game and not good for the game!”  

Warner further sort of repented his action. “I think the world knows that I like to get involved and that's how I play my cricket. That's how it is. I try to take it to them. If I have to be a bit verbal I will and sometimes I cross the line, I've got to try not to,” he noted.

The scenes on Friday were quite contrary to what one saw on Thursday when Virat Kohli was struck on the helmet by Mitchell Johnson. The compassion had been replaced by combativeness.

“Given the last week and a half, it's quite tough when someone gets hit in the head now,” Warner reasoned.

“You sit back and hope he's ok, that's what you have to do. We play the game within the spirit of the game and then when we play tough cricket, that's getting verbal. When someone gets hurt you're always going to be there and giving them sympathy, you have to do that.”

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