March 28, 2006

Someone please teach Andre how to sledge

ESPNcricinfo staff
Whether you love it or loathe it, sledging is a part of the game

Whether you love it or loathe it, sledging is a part of the game. Some cricketers have carved slices of history out of classic sledges and others.....well....some others just don’t get it.

The first rule of sledging is “you don’t talk when you’re getting whipped”. The second rule of sledging is (in my best Brad Pitt voice) “you do not talk when you’re getting whipped.”

When Adam Gilchrist spanked Andre Nel for 22 in a single over, Graeme Smith should have given the yappy bowler a clip in the ear and told him to shut up. His incessant muttering only served to make him look foolish.

A bowler can sledge when a batsmen gets a lucky edged four. He can sledge when he bowls a brute of a bouncer that pings the helmet badge or a ripper that turns square. But when he’s getting thrashed about the park from the middle of the bat, it’s time to close trap and bowl better.

Someone please tell Andre Nel this.

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  • testli5504537 on April 6, 2006, 15:28 GMT

    I think the reason behind why bowlers sledge more often than batsmen is because of the inherent nature of the game itself.

    While the bowler has repeated chances in getting the batsmen out, the batsman is allowed no slips at all. So the bowler is essentially gambling by trying to get under the nerve of the batsman. Ask Glenn McGrath. He is an excellent exponent of this.

    While Andre Nel definitely got clattered, these reactions would have been different had he managed to get Gilchrist out in any one of those six balls. And since it is his business to be getting Gilchrist out and not ours, and also because the Aussies shouldn't mind sledging given that they are the ones using it most of the time (albeit more discreetly) I suppose Nel was perfectly in the right doing what he was, however foolish it might have looked.

  • testli5504537 on March 29, 2006, 19:02 GMT

    Bowlers usually get whacked after sledging. so why to sledge, its better to play the gentlemens game in a genuine manner. but now a days sledging has become a part of the game and the spectators have started to love it.

  • testli5504537 on March 29, 2006, 9:57 GMT

    To elaborate on Sreedhar's post; the Bowler said to Viv, "It's red, it's round,and you're supposed to hit it"-After the 6, Sir Vivian Isaac Richards proclaimed to the said Bowler," You know what it looks like, now go and fetch it," As an (ordinary) bowler myself I never forgot that.

  • testli5504537 on March 29, 2006, 6:45 GMT

    Someone should tell Nel of that incident involving Viv Richards when he played for Somerset. He missed a few in a county game and the bowler asked him if he remembered the ball. Richards hit the next one out of the park and told the bowler, 'Remember how it looks? Go search for it."

  • testli5504537 on March 28, 2006, 14:24 GMT

    _Someone_ has to play the clown. I think we can all be thankful to Andre for volunteering :)

  • testli5504537 on March 28, 2006, 12:45 GMT

    You know what Gilchrist should have said? "Fetch!" Now that would have been the comeback of the century. Oh well...

  • testli5504537 on March 28, 2006, 1:01 GMT

    It was one of the more amusing overs I have ever seen. The more Nel verballed, the more elegantly Gilchrist put him away for four.

    It was interesting that Gilchrist, one of the more placid members of the Australian team, was quite vocal in telling Nel all about it too.

    Nel is technically a fine bowler, and if he's well led, I am sure he has a fine future ahead of him. However, it is up to his captain and the other senior players to tell him to pull his head in a bit.

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