Former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan has urged coach Ravi Shastri to encourage his charges to get in the face of the Australian team or risk enduring a long summer.
The tourists have gotten off to a poor start, comprehensively beaten in the first two ODIs in Sydney, with both teams looking unusually amicable out on the field.
The cordial nature of play is a stark contrast to previous Indian tours down under which have seen infamous clashes between the two sides.
Steve Smith in particular seems to have benefitted from the warm atmosphere out on the field, slamming two centuries at rapid pace, and Khan wants to see the Indians get stuck into the former skipper about the ball tampering incident from 2018.
“Knowing the coach Ravi Shastri, he should take a leaf out of old school cricket and maybe remind Smith and Warner about what has happened a couple of years back,” Khan told Cricbuzz Live.
“At times when things aren’t going your way you just have to find something to bring out that intensity.
“They have to pick that fight maybe. Not in a bad way — staying in the boundaries and bringing out that intensity at times. Forget about what is going your way, what’s not and just get in the zone, which really helps bring out the best in you.
“Ravi has been good at it so I think that’s something he should definitely ponder because it’s going to be a long tour … they should try everything and anything possible.”
Khan is not the only ex-player to be mystified by the friendly nature between the two teams, with former England captain Michael Vaughan also surprised.
However, Vaughan suggested that the introduction of the IPL was a main reason for why players appear to have stronger bonds with rivals from other countries nowadays.
“In our times and through our careers we weren’t really teammates with any of the opposition in international cricket, so you didn’t really know anybody, so you didn’t get that friendship,” he said.
“It almost became a little bit more in your face, probably a little bit more hostile to opposing international players.
“Now, if they’re not teammates, one of their teammates is a teammate with the opposing side.
“I like a bit of confrontation on the pitch. I hope we’re not going to go for an era where it becomes friendly and everyone’s patting each other on the back.”