What’s the story?
It’s not often you see someone like Cheteshwar Pujara getting under the skin of the opposition players. However, the Saurashtra batsman was constantly involved in banter with Australian opener David Warner in the second innings of the second Test at Bengaluru.
After India got the better of the Aussies by 75 runs on day 4 of the Test, Pujara revealed what he actually said to Warner during the match. The right-hander pointed out Warner’s record against Ashwin and kept reminding the batsman about the spinner’s ability in an attempt to get into Warner’s head.
“They were always under pressure when they walk into bat. I wanted to make sure their batsmen are thinking about it. Especially David Warner. Whenever he walks in to bat, Ash is always happy. So I always keep reminding him that Ash is the one,” Pujara said.
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Warner is one batsman who has often been troubled by R Ashwin and it is evident from his records against the offie. In the 12 matches they have played against each other, Ashwin has dismissed Warner on nine occasions.
Even in the second Test at Bengaluru, the spinner set Warner up nicely before castling the opener in the first innings and in the second innings, the southpaw decided to take the attack to the off-spinner and ended up getting trapped in front of the stumps.
The heart of the matter
Pujara was the hero for India in the second innings as his knock of 92 helped India set a competitive target for the visitors. When the team took to the field to defend the target, Pujara was often seen talking to the Australian batsmen and making life difficult for them in a high-pressure chase.
The Test had a lot of banter between both the teams as Ishant Sharma and Steve Smith exchanged some comical facial expressions. Kohli too kept reminding Renshaw about the washroom in reference to the incident in the first Test. This, coupled with Ashwin’s send-off to Mitchell Starc and the Steve Smith DRS fiasco, made it a highly entertaining game.
One thing that didn’t make headlines was R Ashwin’s message to Renshaw during the first innings when the offie warned the young left-hander that his team would be in trouble against him if they failed to score big in their first outing.
“I told Matt Renshaw while he was batting in the first innings that if they didn’t score big, I will have them for soup and dessert in the second innings,” said Ashwin. The Tamil Nadu spinner kept his word as he ran through the Aussie batting line-up and ended up taking six wickets to help India level the series.
Extra cover: 5 things Australia must do to win in Ranchi
Australian cricketers, in the past, have been known to get under the skin of the opposition players and make them uncomfortable on the field. Now, it is good to see a team that is standing up against the Aussies and giving them a taste of their own medicine.
There is nothing wrong with teams involving themselves in banter on the field, however, at the same time, they have to make sure they don’t cross the line.