JUST when it appeared almost possible that a day of play could be concluded without controversy exploding between India and Australia, a nasty accusation of "disrespectful" conduct has been thrown at India.
The home side has been accused of failing to applaud Australian captain Steve Smith's fighting century in a dramatic response to his second Test "brain fade".
Smith brought up his milestone in the final session of play with a boundary down the ground before raising his bat towards the Australian dressing room.
The Star Sports broadcast, used by Fox Sports Australia, showed Glenn Maxwell clapping his skipper as he celebrated his innings, but it did not broadcast any images of Indian cricketers clapping or applauding.
Australian international Dirk Nannes accused the Indian players of poor sportsmanship in failing to show Smith the respect his innings deserved.
It came when Indian captain Virat Kohli was off the field with a shoulder injury, leaving fill-in vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane to lead the side.
Nannes told ABC Grandstand India's quiet response to Smith's century was the most disappointing moment of the day's play which saw Australia finish at 4/299 with Smith unbeaten on 117 and Maxwell unbeaten on 82.
"The disappointing aspect for me today was none of the Indians actually clapped when he got to his hundred," Nannes said.
"You can bicker and argue all you want and play the game hard with lots of niggle but when someone stands up and puts together an innings like that that's absolutely chanceless, that's a time you've just got to applaud.
"That was probably the disappointing thing from my point of view."
He said during play that he personally would have been furious if he was in the Australian skipper's shoes.
Nannes in 2015 accused the Aussies of "horrendous sportsmanship" towards New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, saying none of the Australians approached Taylor at the end of a day's play in which he had scored 290 runs.
"Probably the biggest disappointment of that session is that after the innings, he's made 290, not one person from the Australian camp went and shook his hand," he said.
"You don't have a guy bat for a day and a half out there and just not even acknowledge it, that's horrendous sportsmanship."
Smith did not mention India's response to his hundred in any of the post-match interviews he conducted. "You cannot control the past," Smith said after the game.
"I came out and said I made a mistake and moved on from there. And 4/300, we will take that, but tomorrow is going to be a crucial day for us."
Smith also gave the statisticians work to do, scoring his 5000th Test run on his way to a marvellous 117 not out. The New South Welshman is the only player from either side to score a century this series, and on Thursday he registered his second ton as he batted for nearly the entire day to carry his side to what will now be a more-than-competitive first innings total.
At 27 years and 287 days old, he became the youngest ever Australian to reach the 5000-run milestone. In terms of matches played he's the third-quickest batsman to achieve the feat, doing so in 53 Tests. He's needed 97 innings to get there, which is the seventh-fewest number of innings required by anyone in history.
On top of that, Smith and Glenn Maxwell combined to add 159 for the fifth wicket, recording Australia's best partnership of the series and also Australia's best ever partnership in India, beating the 145 Matthew Wade and Michael Clarke put on in 2013.
Smith has had to cop allegations of cheating ever since his mid-pitch "brain fade" in Bangalore, and Indian skipper Virat Kohli has shown him no sympathy. By reinforcing his status as the world's best batsman when he reached triple figures yet again, the 27-year-old issued the perfect response to his counterpart and anyone else who's questioned him on this tour.
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