Cricket matches between India and Australia are not only played with the bat and ball, but also with words and actions. The pressure-filled matches also see many incidents of sledging and fights, which are a regular part of games when these two teams clash.
One such incident happened in 2013, when Aussies toured India for a seven-match ODI series and one T20. In the 7th ODI at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bengaluru, pressure was high among both the teams as the match was a series decider. During the match, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina engaged in ugly spat with Shane Watson, which was largely criticised by cricket fans. Shikhar and Raina mocked injured Shane Watson while fielding during the second innings.
The incident happened during Australia’s batting in the second innings, when Watson came into bat at no.7 instead of his regular no.3 position. Watson had left the field after bowling 5 overs in the first innings due to hamstring injury. In the second innings, Australia were chasing a massive 383-run target set by India, after Rohit Sharma’s historic knock of 209 in the match. When Australia were reeling at 138-6, Shane Watson came to the crease in the 23rd over.
Watson was having a tough time running between the wickets. He played a shot a mid-on which was collected by Shikhar Dhawan. After collecting the ball, Dhawan mocked Watson while imitating his walking. Later, Raina also mocked Watson while fielding at covers. MS Dhoni interrupted in between and asked his boys to end this and move on with the game. Here is a video of the same.
Cricket fans did not like these disrespectful actions of Dhawan and Raina. Four years later in 2017, Shikhar revealed why he mocked Watson. Shikhar said that Watson tried to sledge him when he was hit by his delivery. “Watson bowled a ball which hit me at ribs. It was paining a lot and he asked me if I was enjoying the pain. And I had to take it. So, when I came to field, I mimicked him, something he didn’t like,” he said.