Australian cricket July 22, 2012

Is sledging for winners?

When a team wins as much as Steve Waugh's Australia did, you can't really question their captain's strategies

When a team wins as much as Steve Waugh's Australia did, you can't really question their captain's strategies. But Kieren Perkins, Australia's Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, doesn't quite believe in Waugh's famed 'mental disintegration' tactics, and has said as much.

Waugh and Perkins, both athlete liaison officers who are involved in the mental conditioning of Australia's athletes at the Games in London, voiced their contradictory views at Australian Olympic Committee press briefing on Saturday.

"There's always a role for sledging," Waugh said. "Cricket is a bit different to most sports because you're out in the field for seven hours, but most of the sports here [at the Olympics] are a lot shorter than that. [But] I'm sure there are mind games, body language, the way you carry yourself, which can have a huge effect on your opponents."

Perkins disagreed: "The people doing the sledging aren't good enough, so they have to find other ways to slow the rest of us down. Those of us that are good enough couldn't care less, we just get on with it. There's not much sledging at all, there's no time."

Maybe that's an instance of mental disintegration for Waugh to contend with right there.

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