Australian batsman Matthew Wade has been accused of “fat-shaming” Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant on day three of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
Wade and Pant were involved in a cluster of ugly altercations during the afternoon session on Monday, the audio of which was caught on the stumps mics.
Watch Australia v India Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with the Fox Cricket commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
After cracking a classy boundary off Indian paceman Mohammed Siraj, the Australian opening batsman was heard yelling towards the slip cordon: “You going to lose some kilos? Are you 25 or 30 kilos overweight?”
LIVE BLOG: Australia vs India second Test
Wade and Pant then butted heads again in the 25th over of Australia’s second innings, when the 33-year-old Tasmanian asked: “You looking at yourself on the big screen again? It’s very funny, I’ll give you that. Very funny watching yourself on the screen.”
The pair were at it again in the final over before the tea break, with Wade pulling out of a delivery from spin bowler Ravi Ashwin because the wicketkeeper was chirping behind the stumps.
Then on the final ball before the 20-minute interval, Wade left a delivery and spun around on his toes, ending up face-to-face with his new-found Indian rival.
“They are two of the shortest men in Test cricket,” former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said on Fox Cricket. “But they were like prized heavyweights then facing off at the weigh-in.”
READ MORE: Smith’s savage sledge to Indian villain
Speaking to Fox Cricket during the tea break, Wade explained what caused the bitter feud.
“He just laughs all the time,” Wade said. “He doesn’t really say much, he’s just always laughing at you.
“I don’t know what’s so funny, it must be my batting.”
Former Australian spin bowler Kerry O’Keeffe claimed Wade instigated the verbal barrage by “fat shaming” Pant.
“I think Matt Wade initiated it with a bit of fat shaming, suggesting he put on a couple of kilos,” O’Keeffe said on Fox Cricket.
“That got it all started.”