Former India star Virender Sehwag has accused the Australians of being scared to sledge during the one-day international series in India to protect their lucrative Indian Premier League deals.
Australia’s 4-1 series loss lacked the usual fire between two of cricket’s biggest rivals, with India dominating all but one of the matches on their home soil.
The detente came after a bitter Test series earlier in the year which prompted skipper Virat Kohli to declare he had no friends in the Australian dressing room.
“They (Australian players) are scared because of next year’s mega IPL auctions,” Sehwag told India TV.
“If they had sledged the Indian players in the ODI series, then the Indian franchise owners might think before bidding high for the Australian players.
“This can also be a reason for them not to get involved in sledging with their Indian counterparts.”
India wrapped up the ODI series in the first three matches.
There was the occasional exchange between players, most notably between Kohli and Matthew Wade in the second match when the Australia wicketkeeper was hurt taking a return from a fielder and the Indian batsmen took a single.
But the brazen hostility which coloured the Tests was absent as the deflating results piled up on the tourists.
“I think the Australian team was playing under pressure because they don’t have all the great players now,” Sehwag said.
“Their team was dependent on two or three players – David Warner, Steve Smith and Aaron Finch.
“Out of these three players, Smith couldn’t do much. “
The Test series’ central flashpoint was a spat between Kohli and Australia captain Steve Smith over the latter’s use of the decision review system.
Kohli was incensed when Smith appeared to consult the dressing room for assistance reviewing a decision, all but accusing his opposite number of cheating.
Smith described his actions as a “brain fade”.
“I think the fair amount of criticism which Smith received due to some of his actions, including the brain fade moment during the Test series, created pressure on them,” Sehwag said.
Australia face India in Ranchi on Saturday for the first of three T20 internationals.
Australia’s Qantas Tour of India
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Axar Patel.
October 7: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi
October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati
October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad