A photo of Aussie cricketers sharing a laugh in the middle of Australia’s second innings trainwreck has been raising eyebrows.
There has been an angry response from Aussie cricket fans after the tourists suffered a record breaking defeat of an innings and 132 runs in the First Test in Nagpur.
Selectors have been the primary target of the social media backlash following the extraordinary decision to axe Travis Head, but it is now the Aussie dressing room itself that is facing the social media firing squad after the side was dismissed for just 91 in the second innings.
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The Aussie team’s attitude is now up for debate after Allan Border said on Day 3 Australia needs to play with a “harder edge” after watching Steve Smith give a thumbs up to India’s bowlers as they beat the bat.
It’s why the photo of Aussie players smiling in the middle of the bloodbath is a particularly bad look as the playing group continues to face criticism over the so-called knifing of former coach Justin Langer. The former mentor was famously unapologetic for his intense, demanding leadership style and his drive to instil greater fight in his players.
Fox Cricket cameras broadcast live footage of Aussie stars, including Matt Renshaw, Cameron Green, Ashton Agar and Lance Morris, all laughing on the sideline just moments after Australia had lost its seventh wicket.
Renshaw’s contrbutions during the Test were a golden duck in the first innings and a score of two in the second innings.
TV sport presenter Adam Hawse was among those to criticise the Aussie players for the poor look.
“Wouldn’t have thought there’s too much to chuckle about. This is a hammering,” he wrote on Twitter.
One fan wrote on Twitter: “Seeing this photo really annoys me!! You’re getting flogged but it’s ok to joke and laugh. It would never had happened in Allan Border/Bob Simpson reign”.
Pat Cummins sounded devastated in his post-match interviews, but was also seen smiling at the start of the official post-match press conference.
Earlier this summer, Sydney Thunder players were also criticised for smiling and sharing jokes in the aftermath of their historic total of just 15 runs. The Thunder recovered to qualify for the BBL finals.
Border had earlier been scathing of the team’s meek collapse.
He said the Australians “should be embarrassed by that performance”.
“It’s just basic batting technique, we’re just struggling in these conditions, it’s as simple as that,” Border said.
“Sometimes I feel we just overthought this particular tour, who should be there, who shouldn’t be there. I think Travis Head (being dropped) is the perfect example that it was chaos before it ever started.”
He said of Smith’s friendly interactions with Indian players: “Play with a harder edge. I mean, we’re giving blokes the thumbs up when they’re beating us outside the off stump.
“What the hell is going on? That is just ridiculous. Don’t go stupid but Australia play hard-nosed cricket.
“We’re even giving someone thumbs up who’s beaten you outside the off-stump, bloody hell.”
There was also criticism directed at Aussie officials for the optics coming out of the inner sanctum on the final day of the Test.
National selector Tony Dodemaide was seen smiling away during conversations with Aussie players, something that has rubbed some the wrong way.
There are expected to be several changes made to the Aussie side for the second Test, which begins Friday.