10Michael Slater V/s Rahul Dravid, 2001
Australia were on a tour of India during early 2001. The 1st test match was being played out at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Australia had won the toss and opted to bat first. But early into the inning, India found themselves at 55/4 with the last recognized pair of batsmen, Laxman and Tendulkar at the crease. They added 75 runs before Indian wickets fell again in quick succession as India were bundled out for 176. Warne picked up 4 wickets as Glenn McGrath chipped in with 3. Though Australia were 99/5, Hayden and Gilchrist scored centuries to accost Australia to 349.
In their 2nd inning, India had lost 2 early wickets to leave themselves reeling at 57/2. That brought the 2 mainstays of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar to the crease. India were going strong at 103/2 when Rahul Dravid pulled a short delivery from Damien Fleming towards square leg. Michale Slater, who was stationed at square leg dived in front to ctach the ball. In plain sight, it looked like the ball had bounced before he could grasp it in his hands. But Michael slater claimed that he had managed to catch it properly. When Dravid did not walk, the umpire referred the decision to the third umpire. When the decision was being reviewed to the third umpire, Slater was arguing with the on field umpire. Once the decision was relayed as not out, Slater got into a verbal spat with Rahul Dravid as he hammered a few expletives. Dravid did not retaliate at all and Slater would have felt like a fool later on thinking about the incident.
Those were the days when Australians got away with everything on the field and as was expected, Michale slater was let off with just a warning by the match referee. Speaking retrospectively about the incident, Slater had this to add,” Sledging Rahul Dravid was one the mistakes of my life. He did not lose his cool even when i was hurling abuses at him. I could not stomach the fact that he was single-handedly demolishing the best team in the world. When the rage wore out on me, I realized that I was an animal and he was a gentleman. He won my heart instantly.” Dravid as the gentleman he was later went into the Australian dressing room to put the issue to bed. India went on to olose the test match by 10 wickets.