PERTH // The beleaguered Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni decided to skip nets and opted for a session of go-karting to try something different to boost the team morale as they look down the barrell on their troubled tour of Australia.
Down 2-0 in the four-Test series, their woes further heightened when the tall pace bowler, Ishant Sharma, was photographed showing his middle finger in a rude gesture to fans.
The so-called "Sharma salute" was splashed by the <i>West Australian</i> newspaper after the player was snapped leaving a go-karting track, ahead of Friday's third Test in Perth.
Sharma is the second Indian player to be caught in the act, after Virat Kohli was fined half his match fee for making the gesture during the second Test in Sydney.
Sharma reportedly made his gesture in response to taunts at the karting venue.
"Why don't you go learn how to bat and bowl before you go go-karting. It will be 3-0 mate," an unnamed fan said according to the West Australian, in a story headlined: "Kart them off! Struggling India hit track instead of nets."
Several Australian media outlets reported Sharma's gesture while Indian press, which has carried strong criticism of the current world number two team, took a dim view of the latest development.
"The present tour of the Indian team to Australia is not only a disaster from cricketing point of view but it is also turning out to be a catastrophe as far as public manners go," the Press Trust of India said.