Cricket Australia's new chairman Earl Eddings has urged the Australian team to "play hard but fair" cricket in the upcoming four-match Test series against India.
The Australian cricket fraternity has been more divided than ever before in the lead up to the India series. A lot of former cricketers have come out and made it clear that they want the Aussies to forget about being liked and worry about being respected.
"Play tough Australian cricket. Because whether we like it or not, that's in our blood. If you try and walk away from it, we might be the most liked team in the world, we're not going to win s**t. We won't win a game. Boys and girls want to win," former captain Michael Clarke said weighing in on the debate.
The term 'elite honesty' has been thrown around by the management who want Australia to gain respect back by being aggressive only with the bat and ball but not in body language or foul language.
But Eddings has said that although he expects Tim Paine's side to play hard and fair, he doesn't want them to shy away from retaliating verbally if such a situation does arise.
"Just play good, hard cricket. I don't think people want us to be quiet but they want us to play with respect to the game, play hard but fair, and win well and lose better," Eddings told Sydney Morning Herald.
"The old adage is you don't say much when you win and say even less when you lose. I think we have a great team, they are fine young men, and I think they will do that. My advice to the guys is to go out and play your natural game and try as hard as you can. That's all Australians want to see."
It has for the last three decades been the Australian norm to unsettle visiting teams even before they arrive on their land by verbally attacking their captain, unanimously – current players, ex-players, media and fans together.
Following the ball tampering incident in Cape Town earlier this year, the current players have kept themselves away from controversy but the former cricketers have been playing their usual mind games against India captain Virat Kohli.
No Test series in Australia has ever gone down without an incident and it would be foolish to assume this one is going to be any different.
The battle starts on December 6 at Adelaide.