The India-Australia clash in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been a roller-coaster ride filled with controversies on and off-the-field, from current players to former players and from Australian media to Bollywood superstars. Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle’s comment on ‘toxicity’ in the Test series would suffice the intensity between the two top Test sides in the business. But, hold on! There have been moments where one could see nothing but smiles on the field. Let’s take a recap of all the ‘what-the-fun moments’ that made headlines between all the hate going throughout the series.
The one with Ravindra Jadeja’s ‘mystery ball’
Peter Handscomb and Steven Smith were having it easy on-the-field with India looking for a breakthrough on Day 1 of the Pune Test which started on February 23. Ravindra Jadeja was bowling from round the wicket to Handscomb, he bowled the ball short and wide which could not reach the batsman before bouncing twice because of the lack of pace in it.
Handscomb, too could not control himself and went after the ball trying to slap it towards off the side. The ball went past the edge of his bat, though Wriddhiman Saha let out a faint appeal. Jadeja held his head and started laughing, and so did Kohli, Handscomb and Smith at the non-striker end along with the Umpire.
The one where Ravindra Jadeja mocked Steven Smith
Jadeja got involved in another ‘what-the-fun’ moment on Day 2 of the Pune Test, a day after his mystery ball to Handscomb. The incident got termed by BCCI as ‘Movers and Shakers’. Smith developed this habit of shaking his head sideways everytime he defended a ball. Jadeja found it amusing and tried to copy Smith’s actions as soon as he repeated this in Jadeja’s over during Australia’s second innings on a rather bad day for India as Pune Test was a disaster for the hosts. Indian fans and fielders had a light moment on the field. Smith, too took it in the spirit of the sport and laughed it out.
The one with Ishant Sharma’s ‘Game-face edition’
Ishant Sharma was bowling furiously on Day 2 of the Bengaluru Test. Australian skipper once again was standing between India and the win, holding the batting lineup together. Australia were one wicket down and Smith had played himself in. Ishant was trying to get him out early. Smith continued his habit of shaking his head sideways after defending a delivery.
Ishant had an answer to Smith’s shaking-the-head habit as he mocked him in the most funniest way possible that it became the pick of the trolls. The screen-grab of the video where Ishant made faces became so popular that memes starting pouring on the internet. From morphing his head to ‘Game of Thrones’ character Khal Drogo to every other way possible.
Smith, too replied to Ishant’s ‘game face’ but could not match the swag originally started by Ishant. Soon enough, the ‘game face challenge’ took off as commentators tried to copy Ishant’s expressions. Everyone tried that from Brett Lee to Mathew Hayden to Sanjay Majrekar.
The one with Wriddhiman Saha’s quest for ‘ball’ between Steven Smith’s legs!
This one is from the historic Ranchi Test. Though the Test ended in a draw, there were no boundaries for excitement on the field. This incident also includes Jadeja but he just delivered the ball. Smith played the ball pitched outside the leg stump trying to work it away to square leg for a single. The ball took an edge and got stuck between his legs.
On seeing this, wicketkeeper Saha’s eyes lit up, he went for the ball which was stuck between Smith’s legs. Smith, too knew the danger and on seeing Saha approaching, he fell on the ground, dropping the ball with him. Saha finally caught hold of the ball and appealed to the Umpire, Ian Gould.
Gould himself was left in splits seeing Saha appealing for the catch. Gould laughed it off and declared it as a ‘dead ball’. Players too were confused as what had happened just now. This is the only incident which gives Ishant’s ‘game face’ a run for its money.
The one with Glenn Maxwell’s broken bat and Umesh Yadav’s muscle power!
This incident was termed as ‘Breaking Bat’. It was the first ball of Day 2 at Ranchi. Maxwell was on strike as he faced Yadav. He ran in hard and bowled a fiery delivery on the stumps. Maxwell came forward in an attempt to defend it and bam! the sound of timber, not the stumps but the bat.
Maxwell’s bat broke in two! Yadav taunted him and flexed his right arm on his run-up. Maxwell was shocked that what hit him on the very first ball. Both the players took it in a sporting way. Maxwell even did a video unleasing his broken bat.
Well, the India-Australia Test series has been filled with ‘toxicity’ but as they say, we should pick out the fun moments and laugh it off. We expect you and the players to bask in that as well.