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Australia cricketers tend to break fine line between cheating and gamesmanship: Gavaskar

first_imgThere will be plenty to look forward to when the four-Test series between Australia and India get underway from December 6. For starters, India’s batsmen will be in focus – can they stand up and support Virat Kohli as India seek to create history down under?More significantly perhaps, all eyes will be on Australia who will be against two of their most prolific run scorers against the no.1 Test team in the world. AND, the Aussies will be watched closely by their own board. ‘DO NOT CROSS THE LINE! BE NICE’ is a standing instruction for every player in a Baggy Green.This has already created a bit of a stir in Australian cricket. A former Australia captain felt Tim Paine’s team needs to stop worrying about being respected. However, in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal and Cricket Australia’s culture review, Australia’s players will need to be at their best behaviour – their last two Test series against India were acrimonious. Recent Test matches between the two teams have been headlined by the brilliance of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith AND colourful verbal exchanges between players.That might have to stop. Kohli has already promised India would resort to sledging only if provoked by Australia.Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar, never a fan of sledging, took a dig at Australia’s cricket culture and pointed out the Aussie players tend to break the fine line between cheating and gamesmanship. “Their attitude over the years has been most different from other teams where they look to win at all cost. There is a fine line between breaking the rule and bending the rule. And their (culture) review told the world that their administrators did nothing about it. They tend to break the fine line between cheating and gamesmanship. They tell us we will not cross the line but what their line is no one knows. It’s like our line of control (at the border),” he told India Today.advertisementFormer Australian captain Michael Clarke felt mellowing down against the opponent could ultimately have an impact on results. Gavaskar countered Clarke’s argument citing the example of the great West Indies team that dominated his era. “Look at the West Indies example. The team that won so much from the 70’s to the 90’s did not need to tell anything to the opposition. They would dismiss batsmen and then score big. If the opposition batsman hit a good shot or even if it was a fortunate boundary, they would never get talking with him. All that Holding and Marshall would do is give you the stare and that would give the message that they will be coming in even quicker the next ball,” he said.”Australians coming in and engaging in abuse…. I have never understood that. That’s why now when they are losing, everyone is laughing. While even the Windies team is struggling, everyone wants them to come up. That’s the difference. That’s why people liked the West Indies team that won so much. Even Australia had a team that dominated for more than a decade but no one liked them for the way they played,” he remarked.With the India-Australia Test series set get underway in a week, the cricket globe is waiting to see which Australian team turns up. Gavaskar said Australia have a lot of work to do if they want to gain the respect of world cricket. “Lots to do if they want respect back. Today when an Australian players speaks well with an opposing player he is questioned in the dressing room.””Perhaps because of the IPL it does not happen as much. Before 2008 when an opponent would do well against Australia, no Aussie would clap. Would you become less competitive by acknowledging an opponent? This theory that you would lose advantage by acknowledging an opponent’s good show needs to change. They need to become more human now. Let’s stop being upright about everything. If they keep doing it, no one will like them. Sometimes not even their own team mates,” he spoke sharply.Also Read | Michael Clarke in Twitter tirade with Australian journalist: Always played by rulesAlso Read | Michael Clarke wants Tim Paine’s team to ‘play tough Australian cricket’ vs IndiaAlso Read | Ricky Ponting wants Aaron Finch to open for Australia in Test series vs IndiaAlso Read | Less verbals but more bouncers from Australia: Ian Chappell warns Virat Kohli’s Indialast_img

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