The incident quickly snowballed into a major crisis with both boards springing to the defence of their respective captains.
Dharamsala: As India celebrate the return of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from previous holders Australia, the overriding consensus is that the hosts maintained order between the sport’s top two test sides in a series that had everything.
Seldom has a tour been dragged deep into the gutter through tit-for-tat accusations of cheating and foul play only for it to rise magnificently in the wake of some quality cricket by the bitterest of antagonists.
“It was a magnificent series, one of the best I’ve been part of,” Australia captain Steve Smith, a key protagonist in the series, said after his team finally succumbed to a 2-1 loss in the fourth and final Test on Tuesday.
Given their history, it seemed inevitable that tempers would flare between sides that endorse an identical brand of aggressive cricket when they met in Pune for the opener, which passed without incident barring a surprise win for the visitors.
The veneer cracked in the second Test, however, when all hell broke loose after Smith gestured to his dressing room whether to review an lbw decision against him during a tense but fruitless run chase in Bengaluru.
The “brain fade” drew a predictable reaction from his feisty Indian counterpart Virat Kohli, who claimed it was but one of several similar breaches by the tourists, an allegation Australia summarily dismissed.
The incident quickly snowballed into a major crisis with both boards springing to the defence of their respective captains. The game’s governing body moved quickly to douse the flames with a lenient view of the episode, which must have felt like deja vu for India coach Anil Kumble.