The Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood is adamant Australia didn’t cross the line during a heated day’s play against India in the second Test at Perth.
Australia captain Tim Paine and India skipper Virat Kohli have engaged in a heated tit for tat over the past two days, with even the umpires forced to step in to calm things down.
Kohli positioned himself to come chest to chest with Paine while the Australian skipper completed a run on Monday.
Paine was at his chirpy best after that incident.
New Zealand umpire Chris Gaffaney sensed things were becoming heated and warned both Paine and Kohli to calm down and play the game.
Paine’s cheeky sledge to Indian batsman Murali Vijay later in the day summed up Australia’s dislike for Kohli.
“I know he’s your captain but you can’t seriously like him as a bloke,” Paine said.
Australia vowed to tone down their antics in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, with Paine playing a big role in cleaning up the team’s behaviour.
But Australia has been criticised in recent Tests for being too nice, and it seems that Paine has agreed with those sentiments.
Hazlewood said the banter was all in good fun, and that there was no personal abuse.
“I think at stages in a game it’s going to get a little bit heated from time to time between bat and ball,” Hazlewood said.
“But we’re pretty confident we can hold that line, that we’ve talked about as a team.
“It’s definitely not a ploy to attack any batsmen at any stage. It’s more in the heat of the battle.
“I think it’s been really good so far, just some good banter out in the middle between both sides.”
India paceman Mohammed Shami said sledging was merely a part of the game.
“If there is no sledging, you won’t enjoy the game, the public won’t enjoy the game,” Shami said.
“When you play Test cricket it is a long match and you have a long time, so a little bit of aggression is there and sometimes you react on the moment.
“If there is aggression, the match becomes more interesting. It is part of the game. As it should be.”
India will resume on the final day at 112-5, still needing a further 175 runs to achieve the 287-run victory target.