Mumbai: Visiting Australia team captain Steve Smith has left it to the discretion of his squad members to engage in verbal duels with the Indian players, or not, when the two outfits clash during the upcoming four-game rubber.
“I think each of our individual plays the way they want to play. If they want to get into battle verbally, if they get the best out of them, then (I say) go for it,” said Smith at a media conference today ahead of the series commencing in Pune on February 23.
India and Australia have fought some bitter verbal battles – called sledging Down Under – in the past.
The most notable of these verbal duels occured in Australia a decade ago when things got really ugly and the Anil Kumble-led Indian team threatened to abandon the tour in the wake of “Monkeygate” scandal, involving Harbhajan Singh of India and Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds.
“It’s about making sure they have the right mindset as individuals to go out and succeed. Guys want to get into those battles verabally, if they get the best out of them, then go for it. (But) in the end it’s about us playing on skills and making sure they are in the best place to succeed in these conditions,” Smith added.