#INDvAUS: Banter is back, and how! – Action-packed second day’s play sees exchanges between Indian and Australian players, though nothing goes out of control
Rival captains Virat Kohli and Steve Smith have a word during the day (PTI)
Sunday's first session might have produced just 47 runs and two wickets, but there were plenty of things happening to keep everyone glued. Apart from the quality cricket, of course.
For the first time in this series, the most famous aspect of any India-Australia tussle took centrestage: banter.
There was constant chirping, words, faces, imitations et al.
It started as soon as Australia captain Steve Smith walked out to bat in front of an animated bunch of Indians in the sixth over of the day. Facing Ravichandran Ashwin, Smith pushed his first ball to the right of the umpire. Non-striker Matt Renshaw didn't move, blocking Ashwin from stopping the ball and the single. The Indian tried to push him, but the Aussie remained static.
Ashwin straightaway put his hand up, complaining to the umpire. Taking offence to that, Smith, now at the non-striker's end, suggested to Ashwin that there was nothing wrong in what his partner did. Virat Kohli then came in, having a go at Renshaw near the wicket.
After a couple of heated exchanges between Ashwin and Smith as well as Kohli and Renshaw, both the umpires stepped in to calm everyone down.
The calm soon converted into comedy.
Ishant Sharma, who was also giving his fair share of glare to the Aussie batsmen in the morning, had a tumbling fall in his run up. Renshaw gave a look of surprise seeing that.
But Sharma was not going to take that lying down, quite literally.
Moments later, Sharma got a ball to beat Smith, and imitated the Aussie's awkward body movements with a hilarious face after halting his follow through right in front of Smith's eye.
Mind you, Ravindra Jadeja did the same in Pune. Smith merely smiled then, and he merely smiled now.
However, standing at first slip, Kohli couldn't stop himself from breaking into a hearty laugh. He continued to chuckle away in the background, while also saying a few words to Smith along with that.
Not that the show was over.
The next ball, Smith played a solid defensive shot, and roared a loud 'No' to the non-striker while looking straight at Sharma. The lanky Delhi bowler struck back immediately, flashing the expression that he received from Renshaw when he tumbled.
Kohli and Smith then had a long chat before the start of the next over, with the umpires keeping a close eye on it.
"There was a bit of talk but I think that's because they (Smith and Kohli) are trying to unnerve each other and get under the skin. But it's all good fun, a good contest," Renshaw said after the day's play.
Except for the little Smith vs Ashwin and Kohli vs Renshaw moment, the rest of it afterwards was just good banter. And even that serious duel wasn't all that serious, after all.
"I was just trying to enjoy it and trying to laugh at what he (Kohli) was saying because some of it was quite funny," Renshaw said.
"He was just saying that I might need to run off and go to the toilet again, which happened in Pune. It was quite funny," he added.
Trust the fun to continue.
We know that they're trying to get under our skin because we've got 1-0 lead in the series. We took it pretty well and were just trying to get on with the game
– Matt Renshaw, Australia opener
When we play the Australian team there is always some sledging involved. But all in all, it was still in the spirit of the game. They were nothing personal
– Cheteshwar Pujara, India batsman