India versus Australia is the hottest spot in international sport, and the bitter rivalry has been on a constant boil in the current four test series.

There has been so much bad blood that the highly respected CricInfo site has included an 'aggression watch' section in its reviews.

Here's a potted history of a potty-mouthed series.

1) ICC match referee Chris Broad rates the first test pitch in Pune as poor after Australia's resounding 333 run win. India's captain Virat Kohli had no complaints, but former test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar reckoned "fragments were missing" before the game even started.


2) The shape of things to come, as the teams prepared for the second test at Bengaluru. Australian captain Steve Smith suggested favourites India were now under pressure, declaring Australia were only "one or two sessions" away from retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Kohli took aim at Smith. "I know these minds games in these press conferences are something they're very good at."

3) Tensions keep rising, with plenty of verbal jousting on the field. It explodes when Kohli accuses Australia of cheating, without uttering the word, after India's superb 75-run win. Kohli attacks the tourists for seeking decision review guidance from the dressing room saying they had crossed a line. Smith admits to one "brain fade". But Kohli claims there were two earlier incidents. Umpire Nigel Long had sent Smith on his way when he noticed him looking towards team mates. Kohli said: "...if something is going on for three days, then that's not a brain fade, as simple as that."

4) Kohli upped the ante, targeting Australian batsmen verbally on the second day of the test including attacking Matt Renshaw for a bizarre first test incident when he retired hurt with a stomach complaint. Renshaw had already copped it from former Aussie players no doubt fearing that their nation's tough-guy image was under threat. Legendary test warrior Allan Border reckoned Renshaw would have to be 'lying on the table half-dead' for his departure to be excusable.

Over the top - controversial Aussie captain Steve Smith, left, celebrates the first test victory. Photo / Rajanish Kakade
Over the top - controversial Aussie captain Steve Smith, left, celebrates the first test victory. Photo / Rajanish Kakade


There was a running battle between Kohli and Smith, including during a drinks break, as a hostile crowd turned up the heat on Australia. Former Aussie captain Michael Clarke knew the tactical score, telling

Star Sports

: "Smith has made a lot of runs in the last two years; I can't recall anybody getting under his skin or saying a word to him. Virat (is) not letting Steve Smith play his game, living in his bubble and making more runs."

6) The Indian cricket board lodged a complaint against Smith over the decision review flare-up, but withdraws it hours later, and even releases a joint statement with their Australian counterparts.

7) Former Aussie gloveman Ian Healy joins the fray, accusing Kohli of unacceptable behaviour. "There's massive cracks showing in (Kohli)...I've said in the past he's the best batsman I've ever seen. His feistiness and real aggression has been good...but I think it's not good for them any more." Umpire Long had tried to calm Kohli down, apparently to no avail.

8) Kohli takes the gloves off by attacking Healy, even dredging up poor behaviour by Healy during a test in South Africa 20 years ago. "We've got 1.2 billion people in India. One person doesn't make a difference to my life," Kohli reckoned.

9) The ICC says third test match referee Richie Richardson will talk to the captains, but also praises the tense and thrilling duel. The ICC bypasses taking action over the decision review system controversy.

10) Smith keeps talking, describing Kohli's DRS comments as "disappointing...completely wrong". Meanwhile, Kohli has a joust with the media, as he declines to be more specific about some of his DRS allegations. Smith says match referee Richardson demanded that "cricket is the winner" in the third test.

11) After a few days of relative calm, injured fast bowler Mitchell Starc declares India resorted to verbal attacks because "they were scared of us beating them in India" after the first test result. "It's probably come a lot more from their side than ours," Starc told Fox Sports.

12) Having led the pre-test assault on the Ranchi pitch, describing it as mud rolled together, Smith gracefully back tracks after the drawn test, giving credit to the groundsman for a wicket which held together "beautifully".

13) But the friction continued. Kohli claimed the Australians taunted Indian physiotherapist Patrick Farhart who rushed out to treat the Indian captain's shoulder. Glenn Maxwell mocks Kohli's injury. Kohli returns fire when David Warner is dismissed. Cricket Australia seems to fan flames, tweeting screen shots of a contentious decision.

The Indians give it to Maxwell, with fast bowler Ishant Sharma leading the charge.


Smith appears to say "f!@#$%^ cheat" over a catch controversy in the fourth test, although Australia batting coach Graeme Hick - the former English player - defends slip fielder Murali Vijay. Matthew Wade argues with Ravindra Jadeja after Maxwell's lbw dismissal, the second clash between the two.

15) To Australia writer even manages to turn an old cricket term into a fight. The Sydney Morning Herald's Andrew Wu says the term 'Chinaman", a left arm wrist spinner', is racially offensive and must be scrapped.

16) Trump...the ultimate insult. Kohli faced a range of accusations from Australia's Daily Telegraph. It claimed Kohli threw a bottle at an Aussie official, while also accusing Indian coach Anil Kumble of storming into the umpires' room during the second test saying Kumble had instigated a lot of the bad blood. The DT was itself accused by the India Times of racism, after comparing Kohli to a panda, cat and dog in a poll. The Telegraph (the paper which called Richie McCaw a grub) likened Kohli to Donald Trump claiming he was a law unto himself and created fake news....namely the accusations involving India's Aussie physiotherapist (see above).