Aussies fail to keep their word

Aussies fail to keep their word

Mitchell Starc's screaming send-off for M Vijay showed their ugly side

Aussies fail to keep their word

It seems the Australian cricket team doesn’t believe in practicing what it preaches.The series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has had its share of controversies, partly because of the on-field conduct of a few players from either side but mostly because of the propensity of a section of the media to milk issues when they can be left alone to die their natural death.

There has hardly been an instant when the TV camera hasn’t been panned on Virat Kohli when the ball isn’t in play. Whether he is collecting the ball or walking towards his bowler to talk or setting the field… All the while he will be in the frame because they know he gives them something juicy to discuss.

No one says Kohli is a saint but he is probably more sinned against than sinning, and that could be because he doesn’t conform to some people’s notion of how a visiting player should behave.

 David Warner, believe it or not, on Saturday gave a call for an end to send-offs after a batsman gets out and of all the people,  Kohli agreed with the Australian player’s views. “I think that’s (send-off) basically unnecessary part of cricket,” Kohli had remarked the following day.

 Warner’s call perhaps came in the light of Varun Aaron giving him what he perceived was a send-off in the second innings of the Adelaide Test. To tell the truth, Aaron was just celebrating. Even Shane Warne, who was commentating when the incident took place, said it wasn’t a send-off.

 No one, however, can deny Mitchell Starc giving M Vijay a send-off on the second day here after dismissing the Indian opener in the first over. As Brad Haddin pouched an edge from Vijay off the third ball of the innings, Starc threatened to get nose-to-nose with Vijay and then screamed provocatively.

Not one of the Channel Nine commentators, who have been quick to criticise Kohli’s in-your-face attitude and sometimes with justification, bothered to discuss the bowler’s behaviour. It was as though the incident never took place.
 "The umpires never said anything so I don't see any issue there at this stage," said the Australian skipper Steve Smith when asked about Starc’s conduct. Fair enough. But that’s what Kohli, too, said of his behaviour and which doesn’t seem to have gone down too well Down Under.

When pursued Smith felt such acts on the field weren’t welcome. "I don't think it's a good part of the game to send batters off,” he noted. “I didn't see what Starcy did to be honest, I was busy celebrating myself. I think it's not a part of the game that needs to go ahead, I'm sure our players will stay pretty calm when we get wickets from now on,” he offered.

 Kohli was asked by an Australian journalist on the match eve that effectively suggested ‘now that you are a captain, would you behave differently’ while a newspaper article here carried Kohli showing his middle finger to the heckling crowd when India travelled here in 2011-12 to justify that he is exactly what they think he is.

 We all agree Kohli needs to have more control over his emotions but then he also hasn’t gone to the extent of telling an opponent to ‘get ready for f***ing broken arm’ which Michael Clarke was caught saying to James Anderson during the last Ashes. Everyone knows the frosty relations between Clarke and South African paceman Dale Steyn.    

Isn’t it then better to practice before you start preaching something?
DH News Service

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