IPL 2017: Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane show great camaraderie after hostile India-Australia series

first_imgThe Indian Premier League, over the years, has been one such place where former foes have become great friends.The likes of Ganguly-Ponting and Symonds-Harbhajan, who never got along well while playing for their country, publicly patched up their differences and became great teammates in the IPL. (Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane power Rising Pune Supergiant to big win over Mumbai Indians)Beyond all the glitz and glamour, the multi-million dollar signings, over flowing fans and the high TRPs, one of the true essense of the IPL has been helping international enemies become friends, at least till the duration of the league.And once again, the essence of the league was on display on Thursday as Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith showed great camaraderie to get their team past the finishing line.Rising Pune Supergiant rode on superb batting by captain Smith and Rahane to defeat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the second game of the IPL 2017 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.Chasing a target of 185, Pune crossed the line with just one ball to spare.The hosts had started their chase on a strong note, scoring at more than 10 runs an over in the initial stages before Mayank Agarwal was dismissed by Mitchell McClenaghan. (MS Dhoni-Kevin Pietersen banter on live television draws laughter)Smith then joined Rahane in the middle and the duo added 58 runs in the space of seven overs to lay the foundation of a successful run chase.Rahane scored 60 runs off 34 balls with six boundaries and three hits into the stands. He was finally dismissed when Nitish Rana pulled off an excellent catch at deep square leg off the bowling of Tim Southee.advertisementSmith, however, continued in the same vein and remained unbeaten on 84 runs off a mere 54 deliveries. His innings included seven boundaries and three sixes.Prior to this, Smith and Rahane were coming off from a fiercely-competitive Test series between India and Australia which witnessed a lot of acrimony.The Border-Gavaskar series, which India won 2-1, saw plenty of bad blood right through the series and there was palpable tension between the players, stoked first by the DRS row in Bengaluru and flamed further by biased reporting by Australian journalists in desperate search of headlines.Steve Smith’s ‘DRS Brain Fade’ started it all before India captain Virat Kohli stopped short of calling him a “cheat” at the end of the second Test in Bengaluru. The ICC had to broker peace between the teams. The Ranchi Test match saw another round of controversy after Kohli’s shoulder injury. Glenn Maxwell kicked up a storm by mocking the Indian captain.To make matters worse, a section of the Australian media went on overdrive comparing Kohli to US President Donald Trump – something that didn’t go down well with the Indian team.Later during the Dharamsala Test, Smith was seen mouthing expletives at the Indian team during the fag end of Australia’s second innings, following a grassed chance by Murali Vijay.Smith later apologised for his poor behaviour and even asked Rahane, who captained India at Dharamsala in Kohli’s absence, for drinks after the match. Rahane eventually did not meet Smith for a drink but he later revealed to India Today that it was because he had plans to celebrate the triumph in the Indian dressing room.Rahane also insisted he was “great friends” with Smith.Also watch:last_img