Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar took a jibe at the Australian media outlets while stating India should not pay much attention to what they (scribes) say or write as they are acting as the off-field wing of the visiting team, before stating the prime focus should be on the field only to play the game of cricket.
“We should not bother too much about the Australian media and what they write as they are an extension of their cricket team’s support staff. The focus now should shift to cricket from off-the-field issues,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The sudden upheaval took place after Decision Review System (DRS), during the second Test at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru saw Australian skipper asking for off-field help when he was declared LBW by the on-field umpire Nigel Llong on the bowling of Umesh Yadav.
While backing both the team leaders, the 67-year-old Mumbaikar stated both Virat Kohli and Steven Smith has not spoken on the incident in between the second and third Tests before stating they had shared their views a day before the ongoing Test in Ranchi.
“Neither India captain Virat Kohli nor his Australian counterpart Steve Smith have said anything about the issue in between the second and the third Tests. Both captains had their say on the last day of the Bengaluru Test and now they have spoken ahead of the third Test,” Gavaskar asserted.
The former batsman Gavaskar said good cricket has been played by both India and Australia, but the incident had received much hype there on.
Gavaskar also stated the on-field banter should be avoided – to focus on the game which is important for the cricket itself.
“Nobody spoke anything in between about it but the media, otherwise there was nothing between them (Kohli and Smith). It is time look at cricket now. A lot of good cricket that was played in the first two Tests has been swept away because of this one incident,” Gavaskar added.
Earlier, in the second Test on day two which India won by 75 runs, fast bowler Ishant Sharma mocked Smith that left fans in splits and equally close-in fielders.
“There should be aggression but only in terms of cricket, not otherwise. Talking on the field has to be brought down and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has to take a tough stand on it,” the former India opener said.
Gavaskar also felt such on-field incidents affect the young crop of cricketers.
“Young players tend to misunderstand while expressing aggression and tend to do it with their mouths instead of the bat and ball,” Gavaskar concluded.
In the time span of 16 years, Gavaskar had played 125 Tests in which he had amassed 10,122 runs for India at an average of 51.12 since he made his debut in 1971.