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"Ricky Ponting has accused India's early-series attitude of being "fake" after their behaviour turnaround during the third ODI on Friday. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain, publicly complained about "harsh words" from some of the Australians during the 47-run loss, but Ponting claimed Chris Broad, the match referee, congratulated him for the way his side approached the game." (report in Cricinfo).
To raise useful levels of friction You need to sledge with conviction A quality that's wanting, In Indians, said Ponting.
To snarl one match and snitch the next Is to stray from sledging's sacred text: Which bids you: Go mano a mano (If you can-o).
To drag the ump into private chat… What kind of manliness is that? Turning it on and off like a gizmo? That's not machismo!
Real men don't need to start jumping To get their testosterone pumping. These Sreesanths and Dhonis: They're just phonies.
A history of transportation Explains our gift for confrontation, And our knack for raising hell, Also why we travel well.
That doesn't mean we're less than good We bear ourselves as sportsmen should Unlike the excited oriental Who tends to look mental.
While Dhoni sneaked and Bhajji raved, The referee said we were well-behaved Only losers think I'm a baddy: I have a reference from Daddy.
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Mukul Kesavan teaches social history for a living and writes fiction when he can - he is the author of a novel, Looking Through Glass. He's keen on the game but in a non-playing way. With a top score of 14 in neighbourhood cricket and a lively distaste for fast bowling, his credentials for writing about the game are founded on a spectatorial axiom: distance brings perspective. Kesavan's book of cricket - Men in Whitewas published in 2007.