Six weeks of accusations, squabbles and controversy ended on Tuesday when India completed a 2-1 win of the heated four-Test series against Australia.
Australian captain Steve Smith said post-match he could not recall a more intense series in his career, which already includes fierce battles, home and away, against India, as well as England and South Africa.
Flash points of aggression were riddled throughout the series, with claims of cheating, mockery, on-field run-ins and, at one point, a potential ICC ban.
But despite this, the 27-year-old Smith came away with a greater appreciation of the rivalry between Australia and India.
“A lot has gone on, on the field, it has been a great battle between two sides and some great cricket has been played across all four Test matches,” he said.
“I think everyone will agree with that. It was a fantastic experience for all the players here.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli was less inclined to forgive and forget, reportedly falling out with Australian cricketers forever after this series.
Here’s a recap of some the most notable controversies.
- Australia accused of cheating: The fiery end to the second Test in Bangalore was undoubtedly the match that started Kholi’s fire – accusing Australian players of looking to the dressing room for help with the DRS.
It came as Smith was dismissed with the game hanging in the balance and he peered over to the dressing rooms.
An incensed Kohli stormed across the pitch and approached his opposite number.
Kohli alleged Smith had “cross[ed] the line” while Smith labelled it a “brain fade”.
Both players escaped charges over the controversial spat.
- Mocking games: Kohli antagonised Australia from the balcony of the hosts’ changeroom in the third Test at Ranchi, clapping and cheering an unsuccessful DRS review by Australia.And while he applauded what he deemed an error by counterpart Smith, Glenn Maxwell took the chance to mock Kohli’s series-ending shoulder injury.
Maxwell’s decision to feign an injury similar to the one suffered by Kohli, clutching at his shoulder after diving to save a boundary, re-ignited the bad blood between the teams.
- “F***ing cheat”: Steve Smith appeared to accuse Murali Vijay of cheating after the Indian fielder claimed a grounded catch during the Test series decider in Dharamsala, brewing further bad blood. Footage captured Smith seemingly mouthing “f***ing cheat” after a the incident that marred the tense third day of the high-stakes contest.
- Kohli holds a grudge: Kohli says his friendships with members of Australia’s team are over and will never be restored.
Kohli declared before the start of the series that he is “really good friends” with some of the Australians.
The injured captain declared that it all over after India completed a 2-1 series win on Tuesday.
“I thought that was the case, but it has changed for sure,” Kohli said.