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'We'll show the Australians how to play cricket in India'

Last updated on: February 15, 2013 09:25 IST

'We'll show the Australians how to play cricket in India'

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One of the teams is known to be naturally aggressive, often bordering on the ugly.

The other has over the years cultivated, rather manufactured aggression and is capable of stooping low when opportunity arises.

When Australia take on India in the opening Test in Chennai, a lot of fireworks can be expected on the field, and all of the same needn't be about the game per se.

While Australia have been traditionally know for sledging and playing the game of one-upmanship, Team India, particularly during Sourav Ganguly's captaincy and after, has preferred to return in the same coin.

As a result, the last few series have been controversial to say the least. Remember the 'monkeygate' episode involving Harbhajan-Symonds? Or for that matter the Gambhir-Watson stand-off?





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'We should defeat them easily'

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As the teams brace themselves for the four-match series next week the war of words has already started. The fact that both the teams are struggling, and have relatively inexperienced squads, has ensured the verbal volleys have toned down to an extent. However, these days no series between the two countries is possible without the usual mudslinging.

What is surprising though is the fact that though the visitors have been restrained this time, a few players from the home side have gone full throttle.

Taking the lead in the verbal exchange is the usual culprit, Harbhajan Singh.

The offie wasn't a certainty for the Test squad. Yet it didn't prevent him from taking pot shots at the Australian side, predicting a 4-0 clean sweep for India.

"This is a young Australian team. They are even getting beaten on their home grounds consistently. We should defeat them easily, and a 4-0 whitewash is a real possibility," Harbhajan was quoted as saying ahead much before the selectors had met to decide on the composition of the team.




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'This will be a challenging series for Australia'

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And once the selectors decided in favour of including him in the final 15, Harbhajan went a step further.

"This will be a challenging series for them. We'll show them how to play cricket here in India," declared the 32-year-old.

The Australian backlash on this occasion has had subtle undertones. Matthew Wade, for example, while complimenting the Indian batting declared Australia will have the advantage of not bowling to the likes of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

"They (Dravid and Laxman) were champion players for India. We do not have to get them out twice in every Test," the stumper said. Wade's teammates Ed Cowan and Phillip Hughes have been quoted as saying that the Australian batting has the firepower to blunt the Indian spin attack.




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'We have to draw a line'

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The two captains albeit have so far preferred to take the cautious approach. While MS Dhoni hasn't yet spoken out on the series, his Australian counterpart, Michael Clarke, has bee calculated in saying an India-Australia series is about "passion and intensity" and as long as he and Dhoni can ensure that they "draw a line", it's fine.

While the last series played Down Under last year was comparatively quieter, the 4-0 whitewash suffered in the same is enough to rile up emotions ahead of the series. And considering we are an emotional nation, the verbal volleys might stretch a bit too far.

A similar reaction when England came calling last year – Team India also suffered a 4-0 whitewash in England in 2011 – backfired with the home team suffering an embarrassing loss in the Test series.

For India's sake let's hope it doesn't boomerang on this occasion.




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