December 21, 2010

Perth Test 2010-11

Australians? Sledgers? Utter rubbish

Alan Tyers and Jarrod Kimber
Brad Haddin makes his point to the Barmy Army, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 2nd day, December 17, 2010
Brad Haddin: his middle names are Emily and Post  © Getty Images
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Alan Tyers writes Despite what is being widely opined, I think the biggest mistake England made at the WACA was not bowling too short at Michael Hussey (if they believe that getting him out to the half-tracker on 116 was a vindication, they should all be severely punished). It wasn’t the failure to play Mitchell’s suddenly rediscovered inswinger. It wasn’t even the inability to stop the rot once wickets started to fall.

England’s major error was definitely trying to sledge Australia. Like they say, “Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.” When it comes to being rude, abrasive and over-competitive, your Aussie cricketer is simply in a different league to his English opponent. Clearly a decent lad like Jimmy Anderson is never going to win a nastiness contest with the likes of Peter Siddle and Brad Haddin. These guys list their favourite cinematic moments as “When Bambi’s mum got shot”. Their idea of polite company is waiting for the lady to break wind first. England were wrong to compete, and I hope that, come Melbourne, we get back to doing what we do pretty well: being good at cricket, and leave all this macho willy-waving to our Antipodean cousins.

Jarrod Kimber writes Oh no, it wasn't the sledging. It was beauty killed the beast. The sledging just comes on the rare occasions when the stars align and Mitchell Johnson finds his inswinger. The most elusive beast in world cricket. Until this Test I’d met people who didn’t even believe it existed. Some of the English players kept batting like it didn’t exist. This Australian team is not made of sledgers. Mitchell has a gormless face that just can’t sledge. Michael Clarke’s dainty body is not built for vulgarity. And Mike Hussey cries if he hurts someone’s feelings.

Australia are just louder when they win. That is why they have a reputation as sledgers, because they’ve won so much over the years and the losing sides have misconstrued this well-meaning chat as vicious sledging. Anyone can shut up an Australian, they call it winning.

Alan replies If the Aussies really did only sledge on the occasions when Mitch has got his bowling boots on the right way round, they would be the quietest, politest nation on earth, a whole team filled up with the shy maiden aunts of Trappist monks. Now that they have finally won a Test match, they’ll be louder, all right. But I still think that this Australian team are never more than half-a-dozen overs of things not running their way from going quiet, sulking, standing with their hands on their hips, or to pick an example entirely at random, losing their rag completely when run out by a substitute fielder.

Jarrod replies As keepers of the cricket flame of integrity, Australians do get angry when the opposition flagrantly push the spirit of the game with things like Bodyline, Arjuna Ranatunga’s runners and super subs. It’s just a shame that when Australia win, sledging is mentioned. As a people we are largely a quiet and shy bunch who just want what’s best for cricket - another Australian victory. Something England has done their best over the years to ensure.

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Posted by Itchy on (January 6, 2011, 23:19 GMT)

A pretty bad indictment on this article that so many commenters thought it was serious. Report card on Alan and Jarrod: could do better.

Posted by Ria on (January 6, 2011, 20:26 GMT)

@abby... true... this article was supposed to be sarcastic. So please everyone, don't take it literally!!

Posted by abby on (December 28, 2010, 18:05 GMT)

"Mike Hussey cries when he hurts someone's feelings." Best line ever. Loved it. Also, I have noticed a fair few of the commenters have kind of... missed the point?

Posted by trent on (December 23, 2010, 2:24 GMT)

we are #5 in test rankings. At least we still have sledging.

Posted by Krish on (December 22, 2010, 17:19 GMT)

This comment by Tyers counts among the funniest pieces of cricket writing I've ever read: "we get back to doing what we do pretty well: being good at cricket"!

Posted by Walt on (December 22, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

This is a fierce competition, and banter and sledging is par for the course and makes the contest so much more interesting. This is cricket. We want fast bowlers steaming in, looking angry and intimidating. We want batsmen shirking off the ferocity of the opposition attack and blasting big centuries. This makes the ashes, nay, this makes any test match series, a very special thing, and I for one love it.

...and don't forget, these guys are pros. At the end of the day (or rather series) they are mates again (perhaps baring a few). Think of Warne and Petiersen. They had many heated battles on the field, but when the dust settled, respected each other. And they are mates now. And don't for a second think that England don't sledge. They do, and in fact incited it in the last test.

wrt Ricky Ponting, he is an all time great. He is first to admit when Aus weren't good enough, and the opposition better. But this is only merited when the contest has actually been won. so harden up.

Posted by Praful Lobo on (December 22, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

Give me a break every country sledges in their own language. The only thing is that the Aussies do not deny it. They very competitive and I like that.

Posted by Izmir Dole on (December 22, 2010, 11:36 GMT)

Suddenly what's all these sledging allegations against the Aussies by the English fans.For 15 years when they were dominating world cricket they were branded sledgers & now it seems to resurface again.During the last one year or so when they were not at their very best nobody seemed to care whether they sledged or not.This indicates the inherent fear & frustration of the opposition that the Aussies are back.What a difference a victory could make to rattle the opposition.

Izmir

Posted by Jez on (December 22, 2010, 11:29 GMT)

Urmm i think you'll find that, people are here to see the cricket, and we don't actually care about the talk! But if you talk the talk, walk the walk....obviously you Poms couldnt!

Posted by arjuna on (December 22, 2010, 11:13 GMT)

Wow, Arjuna Ranatunge was under Aussi skin so bad, he is remembered so mant years after he stopped playing!!, great feeling!!

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