It’s been a fiery month, both on and off the field, for India and Australia with the visitors involved in a handful of controversies. However, after losing the final fixture to India in Dharamsala, Aussie skipper Steve Smith used the post-match presentation to not only congratulate the home team but also apologise for his many comments against the Indians.
"At times I have been in my own bubble and have let my emotions slip. I apologise for that," Smith said at the end of the four-match series, which India won 2-1 to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the fourth and final Test to seal the series in Dharamsala. Interestingly, Smith’s next assignment now will be in the IPL where he will captain the Rising Pune Supergiants.
The series had its share of controversies and hostilities that started with the infamous 'Brain Fade' of Smith, when he was caught on camera seeking clues from the dressing room while taking a DRS call. The incident snowballed into a massive furore after Indian captain Virat Kohli stopped just short of calling Smith a cheat.
The hostilities didn't end after that and players from the two sides had regular on-field run-ins.
However, putting it all aside, Smith was gracious in defeat and lauded India for their dominance despite Australia's resolute show.
"(It was a) magnificent series. One of the best I have been a part of. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their backyard. If you give them a sniff, they will take that."
Before the start of the series, many predicted that the Smith-led young Australian side will be whitewashed by the Indians.
But the visitors showed tremendous fighting spirit and managed to surprise with their resolute performances, quite creditable given that they didn't have a lot of experience of playing in the sub-continent.
"For Australia, this is the toughest conditions for us. To challenge them so much, I am proud. A lot of people wrote us off. They said it was going to be a 4-0 whitewash. I am proud of the way we have competed. We have probably let a few moments slip. Against India you can’t do that. The middle session yesterday, when you lose five for 70, you put yourself behind.Credit to India. Umesh (Yadav) was fantastic. They have all been fantastic."