What’s the story?
With the 2017 Border-Gavaskar Trophy progressing towards the vital phase, Indian coach Anil Kumble has stated that the hosts will not be curbing their aggressive body language in the upcoming third Test in Ranchi. The former leg-spinner also confirmed skipper Virat Kohli will meet his Australian counterpart Steven Smith prior to the high-voltage clash.
“I don't want to curb any natural instinct of the players as long as they go out there and do what is expected of them. I don't think we need to read too much into the aggression. Every player has his own way of having a game face. And that's what you want. You want everyone to go out there and show what they are capable of. This is a very important series. It's 1-1. Both teams will come hard in this game. I'm sure cricket will be the winner,” asserted Kumble.
On issues surrounding DRS and quality of pitches hogging the limelight ahead of the match, he felt, “It doesn't affect our game. We only want to play. We are not doing the talking but you are. We are just playing and thinking about the game on the field.”
The second Test in Bengaluru saw a riveting contest played out in front of a packed crowd. On a surface riddled with inconsistent bounce, India secured a 75-run triumph to storm back into the series.
The heart of the matter
The DRS controversy involving Smith as well as the on-field aggression began to take the focus away from what was an intense tussle between bat and ball. After both captains traded barbs at each other, BCCI and CA got involved in the skirmish too. Thankfully, sanity finally prevailed when the two boards issued a joint statement and brought an end to the needless drama.
Upon acknowledging the role played by both boards in ending the stand-off, Kumble reiterated the importance of bringing the spotlight back on to the game. He also lauded his players for showing immense resolve in levelling the series in Bengaluru.
A couple of days ahead of the third Test, the Ranchi track sported dark rough areas right at its epicentre. With spinners set to have a field day once again, the extremely dry surface could prove to be nightmarish for batsmen from both sides.
Aggression in body-language is something which has to come naturally for any sportsman. In this regard, the current Indian team has plenty of characters who do not shy away from verbal confrontations. As long as the players do not cross certain lines, the on-field banter only adds to the action. Particularly against an opponent like Australia, it becomes imperative to adopt an attacking mindset.