Virat Kohli and MItchell Johnson
Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson in Border Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15 (Source: ESPN)

India and Australia rivalries have another intensity and drama from the other rivalries in the world. If England and Australia teams are famous for ashes rivalry then there is rivalry called Asian Ashes between India and Pakistan teams to turn into the two best rivalries in the world.


If there is a third-best rivalry after the earlier two rivalries then it is between India vs Australia. Often it termed as an underrated rivalry from the other rivalries but it has grown as a more interesting rivalry over the period. Since 1947 these two teams have started playing cricket while in the first phase of this rivalry Australian team dominated till the 90s.

While towards the mid-2000 era team India was a different side balance this rivalry after defeating the Australia team. However, towards the end of another decade both the teams have been equally good in the brand of cricket played among two teams.

From the ICC Tournaments to the tri-series games there have been the moments between these two teams which have either dropped the level of cricket by creating unexpected moments such as biased umpiring and fights between the players (to beat the opposition with mind games) in between the match. These moments were later given the term “controversies” among two teams. Having said, sweep cricket brings top 3 controversies between India vs Australia.

1) Monkey Gate Scandal

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Andrew Symond and Harbhajan Singh in 2nd Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy at SCG, Sydney (Image Source: Google Images)

Probably one of the most intense controversies of India vs Australia in the history of cricket. Another series of incidents from the border-Gavaskar trophy but after these incidents, the downfall of the Australia team had started.

From the biased umpiring in the first innings to an ugly verbal fight between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds during the first innings of team India after Australia post 463 runs in their first innings with very biased umpiring from the umpires to help Australia to score massive runs.

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Former Australia Captain Ricky Ponting signaling out to the umpire in 2nd test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2007-08 at SCG, Sydney (Image Source: Google Images)

The incident took place when Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar fought back with the partnership to help team India post 532 runs in the first innings. Australians have provoked batsmen in between this partnership to break the momentum.

But couldn’t succeed in between the overs Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds got involved in the verbal fight which took another turn when Symonds accused Harbhajan Singh of calling him racial to given the name of MonkeyGate Scandal to this rivalry.

The matter moves into the courtroom with the verdict Harbhajan Singh was proved wrong for the accusations. Even in the second innings of team India, many decisions were taken against team India batsman. This resulted in India lost the game by 122 runs. Even after the incident, Andrew Symonds reckoned –

“I was very lucky. I was out when I was 30, given not out. That’s cricket though, I can sit here and tell you about my bad decisions as well – but I won’t.”


2) Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson brawl

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Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli in 3rd test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2014-15 at Melbourne (Source: Google Images)

It was still the early days in Virat Kohli’s career as he hasn’t established himself in red-ball cricket. Playing against Australia in their own territory is a dream of every cricketer who has played for his country.

This incident between Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson happened during the 3rd test match at Melbourne. Although earlier during the series the Aussies were playing mind games with Virat Kohli for calling him a spoiled brat.

But in the 3rd test during the first innings of team India, it went a step ahead when Johnson tries to hit the ball into the stumps while they hit Kohli. But Johnson went to apologize to him. The incident was the highlight of the series and still fresh in our minds.

Team India was trailing by 1-0 in the series and looking to win this test match. But couldn’t manage to win the game and keep the series as the match was ended up in a draw. Although Virat Kohli has scored 169 and 54 in the match.

3) Shane Watson and Gautam Gambhir elbow incident

Shane Watson and Gautam Gambhir
Shane Watson and Gautam Gambhir’s elbow incident in 3rd test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2008 at Delhi (Source: Google Images)

Another incident from the 3rd test match between India and Australia at Delhi. This time Australia had to put in the efforts to win the test match and keep the series alive. Another incident from the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.


Team India decided to bat first as Gautam Gambhir (206) took the charge and smashed his maiden double century. This helped team India to post 613 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in the first innings.

The incident took place in the first innings when Gautam Gambhir was set and scoring runs. But the opposition didn’t like it and they have started provoking Gambhir. Shane Watson took the lead and tries to sled Gambhir with some weird action when Gambhir comes down the pitch.

While taking the second run Gambhir-Watson got into a fight when both try to look at each other before the umpire came to stop this fight. This match result came as drawn. But team India won the series by 2-0.


So these were the top 3 controversies between India vs Australia selected by Shivam Sharma. Let us know some other in the comment section if you remember any other famous incident between these two teams.

Also Read | Top 5 biggest upsets in the Cricket World Cup history

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