New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar today advised the Indian team to avoid verbal spats with their Australian counterparts as he feels the country's cricketers are not as well equipped to deal with sledging as the ones from Down Under.
A day after Rohit Sharma got into a verbal spat with Mitchell Johnson while he was batting, the Australian pace spearhead ran through the top half of India's batting line-up to lead the hosts to a four-wicket win with a day to spare in the second Test in Brisbane on Saturday.
"I think the Indians should not get into verbal spats with the Australians. We in India, even in club level, are not used to chirping. But the Australians, from the very beginning, are getting into these situations regularly. So it's really water off a duck's back to an Australian if you have verbal spats with him," Gavaskar told 'NDTV'.
He added: "On the other hand, as an Indian it will always stay in your mind even if you are dishing it out. If it is staying at the back of your mind then it is counter- productive. So I think giving it back to Australians wasn't such a smart idea. I know we have talked about being aggressive but that is about aggressive intent.
"I am lauding the Australians for the way they tampered the verbal spats in this series, especially after the unfortunate Phil Hughes incident. I think there are trying to turn over a new leaf, and that's how cricket should be played."
Though India managed to take six Australian wickets in their second innings, Gavsakar, unlike Dhoni, said he was not satisfied with the visiting bowlers' performance.
"I am not quite happy with the Indian bowlers' performance. I don't think they exploited the Brisbane pitch that well. Pitches in Australia are normally good for batting on day 3 and 4 but when you let a team off the hook and allow them to score 500 runs then you can't say that it was good bowling effort."
With the visitors trailing 0-2 in the four-match Test
series, possibility of another whitewash in two years looms large, but Gavaskar preferred to be optimistic.
"I think what India can hope for is that the Christmas spirit also carries onto the Boxing Day Test match. That will be a good thing for Indian cricket.
"I am hoping that Christmas spirit prevails and the Australians are still celebrating Christmas when they take to the field on Boxing day. That might give us a little bit of chance and of course the weather in Melbourne can be very unpredictable. I am optimistic that India will not be whitewashed 4-0 this time."
The third Test is scheduled to be held in Melbourne from December 26-30.
Asked about the "unrest" in the Indian dressing room today morning following the injured Shikhar Dhawan's refusal to open the batting, Gavaskar said that can't be used as an excuse for the defeat.
"Let's not make that as an excuse. A person who has scored a century in his last two innings, he should have been prepared in those seven minutes. As an opener I can say that batsmen get about seven to eight minutes especially if the innings start in the middle of day's play."
Gavaskar also praised Johnson for his superlative performance with the ball this morning.