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Not everyone here is Pujara: Rishabh Pant taunts Australia batsmen in Adelaide

India Today logo India Today 07-12-2018 IndiaToday.in
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India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant kept himself busy behind the stumps as he was constantly chirping the Australian batsmen on Day 2 of the ongoing first Test at Adelaide Oval.

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Pant tried to get under the skin of Australia's Usman Khawaja as the left-hander came up with a blockathon on Friday.

In the 30th over of the Australian innings, Pant quipped: "Not everyone is Pujara here, lads" in a bid to rile up Khawaja, who was trying to consolidate after Australia lost Shaun Marsh to R Ashwin in the first over after Lunch.

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Pant was referring to Cheteshwar Pujara's masterclass on Thursday as the Indian batsman hit a 246-ball 123 to take India to 250 after they were reeling at 127 for 6 at one point in their first innings.

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Khawaja eventually fell to Ashwin nine overs later as the Indian off-spinner beat him with flight, dip and turn. The left-handed batsman failed to build on a solid start as he was dismissed on 28 (125 balls).

Australia were struggling at 191 for 7 at stumps on the second day as Ashwin removed three left-handers in the top order - Marsh, Khawaja, and debutant Marcus Harris.

Contrary to the previous India-Australia series, there hasn't been a lot of talking on the field. The hosts, who are known for riling up opposition teams, hardly engaged in any verbal exchanges with the Indian batsmen on Thursday.

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The home team has seemingly toned down their on-field aggression, as playing fair has become a prerequisite after the ball-tampering scandal that brought shame to Australian cricket. Questions were asked about the Australian cricket culture after their former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia.

Tim Paine, who had vowed to play fair and help Australia earn back the fans' respect, cautioned his men not to get too emotional on the field in the lead up to the four-Test series.

"At times when we get too emotional, we can lose our way a little bit. So it's a really fine line. There's going to be times when they're going to get a bit fiery, I'm sure. But we need to be mindful of keeping ourselves calm enough so we can execute our skills as well," Paine had told cricket.com.au.

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On the other hand, Kohli, who had maintained he doesn't feel the need to get riled up anymore, insisted that there will be sledging but not to the extent where the teams lose control.

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"It's going to be there but not at the level in the past where both the teams have lost the control. But it will be there through body language or put in a word or two when you think it is necessary to go hard at an important batsman. But I don't see anything radical happening," Kohli had said.

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