Vantage point

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Ah, Sunny says it like it is - Gavaskar slams Aussies for sledging

The best line from his speech-

''Lest I sound pessimistic, let me say that, out of a possible 150 Test cricketers from 10 Test-playing countries, there are perhaps not even 15 who indulge in this verbal abuse and intimidation. But unfortunately most of these belong to a champion side and it makes others believe it's the only way to play winning cricket.'

BVHK, are you reading this? ;-)

India and Australia will play 8 tests in the coming 9 months. They really want to beat us on our own land, so they will be even more motivated (that means even more verbal abuse, references to opponents' mothers and sisters, maybe even insulting the umpires, as is the Aussie way). However India is no longer under a pansy captain. We love giving it back nowadays. In the last series in India, Ganguly managed to get under Steve Waugh's skin by using the same "mental disintegration" tactics. They can dish it out, but can't take it as seen by the unruly behaviour of McGrath in West Indies recently. They will happily sledge the meek guy, but bring on an equally verbose Lara and they lose it.

India too will try going the sledging way (I hope with more success than Zaheer Khan in the World Cup Finals :-P). And like Gavaskar said, it will be because since the sledgers are champs, everyone feels that is the way to win. In the 70s and 80s when the Aussies weren't this good, their dirty behaviour wasn't emulated. It was the gentlemanly behaviour of the Windies that was. Now however cricket is becoming more and more like McMahon's WWE.