The ongoing India-Australia test series has been the most exciting one of this home season by far. The main reason being the more even contest between the two sparring sides. Also the drama has been at a fever pitch. That begs the question though, Is drama necessary to keep test cricket exciting?
The exchange of words is almost a given when one of the sides playing is Australia. But this Indian side captained by an unrestrained Virat Kohli has no qualms about sledging. In fact they are using it get under the skin of the Aussies. Considering their history nobody will mind give the Aussies a taste of their own medicine. But do we like our team to be arrogant and look for confrontation at every available opportunity?
The faux pas by the broadcaster in showing the footage of Steve Smith allegedy mocking Kohli’s shoulder injury after taking the catch to dismiss him shows the entertainment value in all this. The hand on Smith’s shoulder was Peter Handscomb’s and the broadcasters missed this in jumping the gun and creating a controversy out of nothing.
When the fortunes oscillate between the two sides as much as in this series so far emotions tend to get out of hand. The stakes are high and it becomes a matter of prestige. But the emotions and mind games should not overtake the cricketing element. The cliche of answering your critics with your performance holds true here. Sledging prowess or facial expressions (which by the way Ishant Sharma needs to work on during IPL) should remain as mere anecdotes in the bigger narrative.