After Sandpapergate, Australia underwent cultural reviews for their behavior in the field. Tim Paine is on his side in a new era of handshakes and jokes before the game, not abuse. But that does not mean that Australia has become timid and has retreated.
At least Sarfraz Ahmed did not believe it: his assessment of Australia's behavior in his first test assignment since the ball-handling controversy in Newlands was that the series was not played in "a particularly polite atmosphere".
There was not an important discord to talk about between the two teams, there has not been between these two sides in the modern era. But when asked if he saw a difference in behavior between the Australian visiting side of 2014 and this one, Sarfraz confirmed that at least the verbal ones had not disappeared completely.
Nathan Lyon was a prominent conversationalist in the field through both tests, according to his warnings. of turning Pakistan in Dubai to a joust with Sarfraz on the third day in Abu Dhabi, where he questioned whether the captain was playing for his own 100 or the cause of the team.
"We had a little talk with him [Lyon] he talked a lot and we did too," Sarfraz said. "I told him that you had six blows, if he were in your place, he would want to be beaten for another six, keeping me half up."
"It was not unusual, they were also playing. You can say yes, they're also going through a process and they're trying to fix things after what happened to them, but it was not like it was a particularly polite atmosphere. "
Sarfraz is not the type to give a step back when it comes to these exchanges, a viral snippet of him telling Martin Guptill exactly where to go on a T20 in New Zealand earlier this year is proof of that, and he did not stop himself from involving Glenn Maxwell when Pakistan and Australia faced off in Zimbabwe earlier this year in the final of a triple T20 series that ended in Maxwell refusing to shake Sarfraz's hand after the game, though Maxwell later attributed it to "a genuine oversight" of His part.
In that sense, Sarfraz is a marked change from Misbah-ul-Haq, from whom drawing a sledge in the field was more difficult than drawing milk from a stone. The sides of Misbah were, more or less , in its mold.
Pakistan can expect more, and perhaps of a more robust nature, when they travel to S Out of Africa later this year for a series of three tests. Sarfraz will not go looking for him.
"There is a saying pari lakri ko choona nahi chahiye ," he said, a saying that vaguely means you should not be looking for trouble. "If you go to Australia or South Africa, you know that you are already fighting against such important teams, you are fighting with rebounds, with swing, with seam, and then, if you start to fight against the players, you are making it more difficult". .
"It's a simple formula, when you're hitting, do not look for problems, just play cricket and focus on your performance, you're already playing on the best teams, if a guy says something, if he says something personal, then you can talk , but otherwise you do not need to say anything, play and act. "