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Hostility soars as fifth Test approaches
Australia tour to India

Hostility soars as fifth Test approaches

Virat Kohli "the Donald Trump of sport."-Australian Newspaper

Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle has hit out at the "toxicity" which is damaging the series against Australia, and called for both sides to show restraint before the winner-takes-all final Test begins Saturday.


Harsha Bhogle fears that the glorification of aggressive on-field behaviour by media on both sides and passions boiling over could harm Test cricket's reputation with the series on a knife-edge at 1-1.


One Australian newspaper dubbed India skipper Virat Kohli "the Donald Trump of sport" and a former Australian Test bowler Geoff Lawson accusing Kohli of acting like "your worst behaved player".


The Daily Telegraph newspaper says Kohli is behaving like a bully and accused the Indian cricket board and match officials of letting him get away it.On the other side, Hindustan Times has accused Australian media of a running a "hate campaign" throughout the series.


"Friends in Australia tell me they are perturbed by the toxicity this series has generated. Cricket lovers in India saying so too, if we have to use toxicity and divisiveness to spread our game, we are using a short-term approach that can only be harmful," said Bhogle.


"I am particularly perturbed by the fact that some of us in the media are promoting this divisiveness and taking sides to spread ill-will."


Tensions have been ramped up since Kohli stopped just short of accusing Australian captain Steve Smith of cheating in the aftermath of the second Test in Bangalore, which India won to level the series at 1-1.


It is pertinent to mention that the rancour was inflamed in the drawn third Test in Ranchi as Australia batted out the fifth day for a draw and all rounder Glenn Maxwell was accused of mocking Kohli's shoulder injury.

- AFP