Played ‘less aggressively’ due to repercussions of sandpaper-gate, says Cummins

Melbourne, April 10 (IANS) Australia fast bowler Pat Cummis has said that because of the repercussions of the infamous Newlands ball-tampering scandal, they played “less aggressively” against India in the 2018-19 Test series which they lost at home.

“I think probably a bigger factor was six months before leading into that Indian series the media and everyone commentating on the Aussie cricket team were pretty clear in their direction in the way they wanted the Aussies team to go and that was playing a little bit less aggressively out on the field,” Cummins told BBC Sport.

“I'd say that would have been a bigger factor than trying to win or lose friends out on the cricket field. But you never know, that might have been a factor for some players,” he added.

Recently, former skipper Michael Clarke said current Australian players were too scared to “sledge” Virat Kohli and in order to protect their million dollars IPL deals, they “sucked up” to the India captain which resulted in their cricket becoming “soft”.

Current Test captain Tim Paine has also rubbished Clarke's remark and told ESPNcricinfo: “I certainly didn't notice too many people being that nice to Virat or not trying to get him out or anything like that.”

“I thought everyone who had the ball in their hand or when we were batting were trying their absolute best to win the game for Australia. I'm not sure who was going easy on him; we certainly had a thing where we didn't want to provoke any fight with him because we think that's when he plays at his best,” Paine said.

India, under Kohli's captaincy, won the series 2-1, thus making them the first Asian team to beat Australia Down Under in a Test series.



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