India strikes back in explosive sledge war
Australia's team of good blokes stood by its promise to win back the respect of the public even though they lost the first Test - but clearly it's going to take more than one game to erase memories about the way they used to behave.
The Aussies shouldn't have been in the hunt at all in Adelaide but a determined fightback from the tail got the hosts to within 31 runs of India before Josh Hazlewood became the final victim, edging Ravi Ashwin to KL Rahul at slip.
The Indians went wild and captain Virat Kohli, who had led the way with animated celebrations all match, was front and centre again as his crazy eyes came out along with the high-fiving and fist pumping.
His antics had caught the Aussies' attention earlier in the match and Justin Langer said his troops would be playing with fire if they acted like him.
"If we did that at the moment we'd be the worst blokes in the world. It's a fine line, isn't it?" Langer said.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant too was in his own world as his incessant sledging of Australia's batsmen was picked up by Fox Cricket's microphones and was highlighted when the commentators stayed silent for an entire over to capture every annoying word.
Langer's comments come in the context of Australia being caught in a culture war after the ball-tampering scandal, poor results and damning cultural reviews, trapped between a desire to win and a recognition the "Australian way" of playing hard-nosed cricket is not what it used to be and something fans will no longer tolerate.
Before the Test, former captain Michael Clarke was gunned down for misreading the room - in the eyes of some - when he said earning respect was more important than being liked and playing with an old-school mentality was the best formula to do that.
But captain Tim Paine is in no doubt there's plenty of room to earn respect without acting like a "pork chop". Whether it was a crack at Kohli's mad-man impersonation, Pant's sledging or a dig at former players who don't want to see the Aussies go into their shell, Paine reaffirmed his team's commitment to upholding a new set of values.
"We played in good spirits. I don't know about the Indians, we didn't pay attention to them and we won't be for the whole series," he said after the loss.
"We fought really hard and never gave up, and you don't have to talk rubbish and carry on a like a pork chop to prove that.
"From a cricket point of view, we have some areas to tighten up and I thought today was a nice snapshot of how we want to go about it."
INDIAN GREATS STRIKE BACK
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly - who famously antagonised Steve Waugh - took aim at Langer and said if he was questioning Kohli's behaviour then he must have a short memory.
"I would like to say one thing to Justin Langer. He should watch old footage of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath or Jason Gillespie from India's previous tours to Australia and then say something," he said.
Ganguly wasn't the only former Indian star to have Langer in their sights as VVS Laxman also had a crack.
"When you're playing for your country you have to play with pride, you have to play with passion," Laxman told ESPN Cricinfo. "You're not trying to impress the spectators or trying to be the good boys. You have to play in a hard manner.
"If I was Justin Langer I would be telling the team to forget about celebrations and what the opposition team is trying to do, focus on being the best Australian cricketer you can be.
"You can't please people, I don't know why they're trying to change their image. The only way you can change your image is by winning Test matches and winning Test series and that's what the Australian public is waiting for from this team."
Ex-Indian opener Gautam Gambhir also chimed in, telling Sportsstar: "Australia should play the same way they have always played. One scandal should not change their complete identity.
"They have always played their best when aggressive. There is nothing wrong in it as long as you do not get personal. Humans are bound to show their emotions. Robots do not play professional sport."
But because Ganguly, Laxman and Gambhir haven't been involved in the murky world of Australian cricket since the ball-tampering saga their hot takes miss the point. Public perception and how the team is received by rival teams is now equally as big a priority as winning for many.
Langer and Co. are trying to move on from the past because it's clear the behaviour of previous Australian teams left a sour taste in people's mouths.
Perhaps, despite what Ganguly believes, the coach does remember how his former teammates used to carry on and is being careful to ensure the new generation takes a different path.
It's an attitude that after one Test has already paid dividends, at least on the PR side of things.
"We were heavy in our judgment of their behaviour recently and I think they were really magnificent in this Test," sports presenter Paul Kennedy told ABC News Breakfast.
"The Australian team was really good, they straightened things up (in their behaviour)."
And it was fight on the field that was most important to Aussie supporters.
But in a new era where players can be picked on character over their cover drive, it would have been interesting to see Langer's reaction to James Pattinson's antics in Victoria's Sheffield Shield draw with Western Australia yesterday.
The fast bowler, who has played 17 Tests and is on the comeback trail from a horror back injury that kept him off the field for more than a year, was locked in an aggressive battle with former state teammate Marcus Stoinis.
Pattinson threw plenty of verbal stuff at the Australian all-rounder, threatened to hit Stoinis with a hip and shoulder as he charged through for a run and mocked his mannerisms as he compiled a crucial 85.
Pattinson is a competitive beast who was caught up in the heat of battle, but he ventured dangerously close to Paine's "pork chop" territory.
Whether his behaviour would have earned a rebuke from Langer is something we don't know - or won't know until he earns a national recall and his emotions boil over.
But in Adelaide the Aussies set the perfect tone for the rest of the summer. All they need now is a win.