Killing them with kindness: Aussies on best behaviour in first Test

Killing them with kindness: Aussies on best behaviour in first Test

The ex-boors didn't turn into bores.

They chirped and chattered; urged and cajoled; played mind games and the ball game.

But Australia's cricketers preferred smiles to snarls, and to kill 'em with kindness, on day one of a fresh warm and fuzzy era.

Mild mannered: Nathan Lyon celebrates dismissing Rishabh Pant.Credit:AAP

The Australians certainly had scant cause to vent any frustration on Thursday's day of dominance against India in the first Test at Adelaide Oval.

As Indian wickets fell frequently, the Australian fielders chatted incessantly.

They were vocal in support and encouragement of their bowlers, who barely said a word to their opponents.

When Indian opener Murali Vijay edged the first four of the series through a gap between slips and gully from Josh Hazlewood, the paceman simply muttered under his breath.

When Mitchell Starc beat the bat of Rishabh Pant, the fast bowler's prolonged follow-through was accompanied by a broad smile.

When Starc did the same the next ball, he responded with a similar smile.

And when Pant soon after aimed a wild slog, and missed, from Pat Cummins, the paceman simply strode down the pitch with a wide smile.

Australian captain Tim Paine conducted the vocal chorus, knowing his every utterance was overheard by India's batsmen.

"You don't have to go over the top with anything you say," ex-Australian batsman Simon Katich said in SEN commentary.

"But it's the right time to play those minds games with the batsman."

Paine, who 13 months ago wasn't even wicketkeeping for his state side, spoke pre-game of Australia's quest to win not only the game, but also respect.

Huge wicket: Pat Cummins celebrates the dismissal of Virat Kohli as Australia get out of the blocks fast in the first Test.Credit:AAP

"Gaining the respect of our country and our fans is as high a priority as is winning," Paine said on Wednesday.

Thursday was the first day of the first home Test since the ball-tampering scandal which led to suspensions to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft from a bitter series in March in South Africa.

Much water, mainly troubled, has since gone under the proverbial bridge.

There were reviews detailing a disturbing culture of sledging, arrogance and a win-at-all-cost attitude within the Australian team's insular bubble.

Early evidence from day one in Adelaide suggests that bubble has burst.

But a truer test will come in harder on-field times with the new behaviour perhaps evidence of the oldest of adages: winners are grinners.


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