Show India respect or pay the price, says Australia captain Clarke
Australia captain Michael Clarke has warned his players not to cross the line in the four-Test series against India – and warned anyone who does so will be duly punished.
When India last toured Australia in 2007-08, a number of incidents – including Harbhajan Singh being fined for using abusive language towards Andrew Symonds – marred the series, won 2-1 by the hosts.
But Clarke and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni want to avoid similar controversy, and the Australia batsman said his side know where the competitive line stands.
Call for respect: Michael has warned his Australia team
‘Both teams understand where we’re at,’ Clarke said. ‘I think there’s a lot of friendships made and we all understand there’s a line you can go to, but there’s a line you can’t cross. I can guarantee you nobody in the Australian team will cross that and if they do, there will be punishments from the ICC and Cricket Australia.
‘I think the relationship between the Australia team and India team could not be stronger. We’ll be doing everything in our power to play some really competitive, tough cricket.’
The fiery incident between Symonds and Harbhajan occurred after the spinner was frustrated by several decisions going against him in the second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
With the decision review system not in place for the upcoming series, there had been concerns the players’ frustrations could again boil over.
Symonds and Harbhajan have since played together in the Indian Premier League, and Clarke said the Twenty20 tournament had allowed players from the two countries to form close friendships.
‘I think the relationship between the Australian players and the Indian players is very good and will continue to be that way,’ Clarke said, ahead of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
‘The IPL has played a big part because you get the opportunity to play with people from all around the world.
‘It’s always been very competitive on the field, but off the field both teams get on very well.’