Australia vs India: Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli team up to sledge Nathan Lyon

Kohli was not far away from this episode.

Virat Kohli & Rishabh pant
Virat Kohli & Rishabh pant. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Shubham Ghosh

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Irrespective of the direction the Test matches in the current Australia-India series are going, there is a common factor and it is about bantering and peaceful sledging. The image of the captains of the two sides – Tim Paine of Australia and Virat Kohli of India – gesturing a last-minute collide in the second Test in Perth was quite symbolic in that the two powerhouses did not get into a real clash but continued to poke at each other throughout the series. The fourth day in the ongoing third Test in Melbourne which is heavily tilted in favor of India was no exception.

Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant was the man who stole the limelight on Day 4 in Melbourne. After a decent batting show, Pant picked up his opponents from behind the wicket to either avenge their previous act of taunting as it was with the case of Paine or distract them as it was with Nathan Lyon.

Lyon paired up with Pat Cummins, who hit a half-century after a well-deserved six-for to prolonged the Australian resistance as the hosts ended Day 4 on 258 for 8, requiring another 141 runs to win the game on the last day. The bowlers added unbeaten 43 runs for the ninth wicket to frustrate the Indians who toppled the Aussie top order easily and it was then when Pant stepped in.

Lyon didn’t understand what Pant was trying to say

It was towards the end of the day’s play when Pant was heard saying on the stump mic: “C’mon Gary, you don’t want to come tomorrow (Day 5) for nothing.” Lyon looked back at the Indian keeper and asked what he was trying to say. The 21-year-old repeated his remark again but Lyon still could not understand and he conceded that, besides adding “I can’t understand you, I like you too Rishabh.”

However, Kohli too was not far away from this episode. Fielding at leg slip, he was heard telling Pant: “Dil pe baat lag gayi lagta hai (he took your words by heart it seems).”

In an earlier instance, Pant was seen mocking Paine as a “temporary captain” which was retaliation to Paine taunting him over him getting dropped from the ODI squad and even advised him to babysit his kids on Friday. Umpire Ian Gould was seen warning Pant though Paine got away with his act the previous day.

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