The 12th edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy promised much in terms of good behaviour, but what cricket fans have seen over the first three Tests in the Australian summer has been kind of boorish.
While the Indians are no slouches when it comes to giving it back, television footage indicates that the Australians have been the initiators of fury, something that their former players didn’t want to see, particularly in a series played against the backdrop of Phillip Hughes’ death.
Hughes’ demise was caused at the very same venue (Sydney Cricket Ground) where India and Australia clash for the fourth and final Test of the series from tomorrow.
This series should have been remembered for the riveting contests rather than the ugly acts of bowlers throwing balls at batsmen well in their crease, and batsmen having to cope with verbals when they got one-up on the bowler.
Australia pride themselves on playing hard but fair. This is not to say there was any cheating, but to play in the spirit of the game also means playing fair.
The India and Australia rivalry, in the opinion of several pundits, is second to only the Ashes series, and these contests should be made memorable through the cricket and not the aggression. Take, for example, the most memorable of India vs Australia series in 2001. We remember those three Tests mostly for the quality of cricket played in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai the explosive batting of Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, the willow wizardry of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the magic of Harbhajan Singh and the sharp minds of Sourav Ganguly and Steve Waugh.
Unfortunately, the current series will not be marked down for the same reason. Both India and Australia have lost that opportunity.
Better luck next time, we should tell ourselves, although there is still some good conduct to look forward to in Sydney, where behaviour should be the buzzword.