Former Australia batsman Michael Hussey might have criticised Virat Kohli for his aggressive celebrations in the ongoing Test series but felt that the verbal exchange between the India skipper and his counterpart Tim Paine was within the limits of the game.
Reacting to Kohli's celebrations at the fall of Australian wickets during the second Test in Perth, Hussey had said that the India captain "was out of control".
When asked about the heated verbal exchange between Kohli and Paine in the same Test, Hussey said, "It did not go over the top. It was not aggressive or abusive. This is a tough series and you expect the odd thing to be said. It did not get out of hand."
"I thought both players handled it well. It was nipped in the bud before it could escalate and get emotional. It showed both teams will play tough cricket and they are not going to back down. They will stand up for what they believe but doing it in the right way, not getting abusive or over the top," he told PTI.
Hussey, who has appeared for Australia in 79 Tests between 2005 and 2013, also credited Paine for playing the Australian brand of tough cricket.
Australian cricket has been through turbulence since the ball-tampering scandal happened on tour in South Africa in March which led to imposition of one-year bans on former skipper Steve Smith and his the then deputy David Warner. Paine took the captaincy since then.
"For me, at the moment I am seeing feel-good actions on the field (from Paine's team). Their skills are tough and they are not compromising on playing as hard as they can. They are giving a hundred per cent, but if something needs to be said, it is not abusive," said Hussey.
"You can be aggressive but you still need to respect your opposition and that to me is what the Australian cricket brand is. Maybe we have not always been like that and certainly deserve some criticism for having gone over the top. But in my mind, this team is playing good Australian brand of tough cricket," he signed off.
Australia went on to win the second Test against India by 146 runs at the Perth Stadium to level the ongoing four-match series 1-1. The two sides will now lock horns in the third Test, beginning Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).