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Australia vs India series is keenly fought across formats. The series lives up to the expectations of fans as they promise quality cricketing action. The 2001 Test series in India that Sourav Gangly and his men won 2-1 is one of the best cricketing contests in the history of gentleman's game. But there have been some controversies as well. Cricwizz takes a look at a few controversies surrounding Australia vs India series.

1) Monkeygate

Andrew Symonds Harbhajan SIngh India
From left: Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan SIngh (Image Credits: Sportscafe)

The 2007-2008 Test series Down Under was the most bitterly fought series between India and Australia. In the second Test at Sydney, Australian player Andrew Symonds alleged that Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh directed a racial slur at him, calling him a monkey. Harbhajan was handed a 3-Test ban. Team India, under Anil Kumble, threatened to boycott the tour before lodging an appeal against the ban. 

Later, a court overturned the ban, and instead, fined Harbhajan a 50 percent match fee. The match was also controversial for poor umpiring as Steve Bucknor made numerous wrong verdicts. He was dropped for the next Test between Australia and India. 

2) Homework gate

Shane Watson Mitchell Johnson India
Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson (Image Credits: Cricketlounge)

In the 2012-13 Test series, Australia was down 2-0 going into the third Test against India. But they found themselves in further trouble, done by their own making, as they dropped four top players – vice-captain Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson, and Usman Khawaja – for their failure to do their homework of mentioning three points on how to improve their and team's performances in the next two Tests. 

Watson then made his way back to Australia, although Cricket Australia maintained it was due to the birth of his first child. India eventually whitewashed Australia 4-0 to take perfect revenge for the 0-4 sweep they were handed in their last tour Down Under.

3) Sourav Ganguly makes Waugh wait for the toss

Sourav Ganguly Steve Waugh India
Sourav Ganguly and Steve Waugh (Image Credits: CricketCountry)

In the 2001 Test series at home, India and Australia fought tooth and nail as the Aussies came to conquer the final frontier. But after just being few wickets close to a series win, they lost 2 Tests in a row to lose the series. Aussie captain Steve Waugh, however, came hard at Ganguly, criticizing the Indian skipper for coming late to the toss and making him wait. Ganguly later revealed that the first time, he was delayed for the toss as he could not locate his blazer. But he said he repeated this thereafter as it made Aussies grumpy, and it worked in favor of the Indian team.

4) Brain fade 

Virat Kohli Steve Smith India
Virat Kohli and Steve Smith (Image Credits: Sportzwiki)

In the 2017 Test series between India and Australia, Indian captain Virat Kohli accused Australia of abusing the DRS system, and just stopped short of calling Aussie skipper Steve Smith a 'cheat' after the latter looked up to the dressing room to seek help in making a referral. The controversy left bad blood between players of both teams, with Kohli expressing his displeasure clearly. Smith later called it a 'brain fade' and admitted he should not have done that.

Cover image courtesy: BCCIofficial