October 4, 2007

Grow up already

The attempts by some Indians to out-sledge the Aussies have come a cropper in this series
64



Sreesanth has fallen sprawling over the line that separates aggression from farcical chest-thumping © AFP

Adam Gilchrist had a certain someone in mind when he spoke of the on-field behaviour in Kochi being ridiculous even by kids' standards, but his words could have applied to any of four or five individuals who have hardly distinguished themselves with their antics in the opening two games of this series.

Were it not for the fact that both teams have been led by thoroughly likeable men, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gilchrist, things may well have deteriorated to a level where cricket became a contact sport. And with so many thousands of children scrutinising their heroes' every move, the two teams that now hold all three world titles on offer in the sport really need to take a long hard look at themselves.

India have gone into the series determined to match Australia in what Stephen Waugh might have referred to as the mental disintegration stakes. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with that. For too long teams have allowed Australia to intimidate them with more than just bat and ball, and the feistiness shown by some of the English players during the Ashes series of 2005 proved that even the biggest bully in the yard could be stared down.

But controlled aggression is one thing and some of the nonsense we've seen in this series quite another. It's worth recalling that most of the men who in the past got too enmeshed in verbal skirmishes paid the price with miserable failure, which was what the Australians intended in the first place. Graeme Smith was a notable casualty, talking the big talk before home and away series against Australia, only to be ruthlessly cut down to size by a team that prided itself on targetting the opposition's main men.

Paul Collingwood was another who allowed himself to be drawn into a war of words with Shane Warne last year. Till then, he and Kevin Pietersen had been the standard bearers of England's resistance in Australia. But after the verbals in Adelaide, he scarcely made a run all summer, and it was perhaps no surprise that his game revived only after Warne exited the stage.

Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly were two who had a measure of success in getting under Australian skin and causing an itch or two. Ganguly did it with a smile on his face, and Waugh's subsequent irritation and complaints were the reaction of a man who had been caught out at an essentially Australian game.

Harbhajan's tactics have been far less subtle, and have involved plenty of lip. "He likes to have a chat," admitted Glenn McGrath during Australia's victorious tour of India in 2004. McGrath was keen to emphasise that white-line fever didn't afflict his countrymen alone, but for his part Harbhajan could point to 21 wickets from three Tests as proof of successful aggression.

He was again one of the main protagonists in Kochi, having an animated discussion with Steve Bucknor and exchanging heated words with Michael Clarke, all of this while at the non-striker's end. Even after he was dismissed, Harbhajan found time to trade a few words with the Australian huddle, and his demeanour suggested that a few choice words had been whispered to him as soon as he arrived in the middle.

Australia, as ever, haven't been angels themselves. Clarke, cherub face and all, is developing a bit of a reputation as an instigator, having already achieved the impossible feat of making Chris Gayle drop his cool dude façade in Mumbai during the Champions Trophy last year. Matthew Hayden is a legend of the coarse chirp from slip, and Andrew Symonds too has been noticeably belligerent in this series. When he returns to the fold, you can be sure that Ricky Ponting will be bristly as ever, and there's always Brett Lee with those throws to the keeper that invariably accidentally hit the batsman.

Given the backdrop it says a lot that Sreesanth has managed to take the sledging spotlight away from its most skilled practitioners. In Kochi, though, he walked the line, and was most fortunate that Chris Broad had one of his more lenient days as match referee. Over two games Sreesanth has had words with Clarke, glared at and dismissed Hayden, and mouthed off at both Symonds and Brad Haddin.

It's worth recalling that most of the men who in the past got too enmeshed in verbal skirmishes paid the price with miserable failure, which was what the Australians intended in the first place

Sreesanth's apologists will point to how McGrath used to carry on sometimes. Fair enough. But McGrath was also the best bowler in the world, certainly the best we'll ever see, and he never let the white-line fever affect his performance. If anything, it probably enhanced it. Sreesanth, who started both games in this series superbly only to tail off at the end, needs to learn from that and learn quickly before a ban or two comes his way.

He doesn't need to look as far afield as Australia for a role model. Zaheer Khan has been like a coiled spring since his return to the side, controlled aggression unleashed each time he has been given the ball. As the Trent Bridge Test showed, he's not a man to back away from a scrap, but he also knows when talk becomes cheap and actions take precedence.

Sreesanth is an outstanding fast-bowling talent, capable of genuine pace and controlled swing, and despite his antics there's grudging respect for him in the Australian camp. But what both he and India need right now is focus. A good opening spell alone seldom wins matches, and making faces at the batsmen certainly doesn't.

It matters little what the Australians make of Sreesanth, and even less what their newspapers think. But his team-mates do matter. And right now he's letting them down. Dhoni faces a question about his behaviour at pretty much every press conference, and he certainly can't have been too thrilled on Tuesday, having to walk down the pitch to ask Sreesanth to get on with it after an appeal for a run-out that would have embarrassed someone playing gully cricket.

None but the most naïve expect games of this intensity to be played out in a "Top shot, old chap" atmosphere, but it's not edifying to see them descend to schoolboy boorishness either. Before an awards function on Tuesday night Sreesanth quipped that the blow he took to the head - from a shot by Dhoni down the ground - had set him right. For the sake of an Indian team that depends heavily on him for wickets, you can only hope that he wasn't joking.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor on Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rienzied on October 5, 2007, 8:33 GMT

    The whole thing about sledging is that it is intended to cause one to be distracted and lose focus of the game. My take is give some and take some. If you cannot take it, then DONT give it. Harby, Sreesanth have lost the plot. By the end of today, Australia will be 2-0 up and all because the focus of the criket match has been made secondary. These guys have taken it personally and lot focus. Well done Ponting and Co, you guys have really managed to keep the game in perspective!!!

  • SAMEER_I_J on October 5, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    Big mouth and less action. I think that if India wants to live in the past so be it. But the truth is that, they have to play good cricket. India themselves didnot like the sledging by the Australians when it was done before and said that its not good for the spirit of the game and personal interactions. But now it seems that India wants to take a bath in the same pit. Set examples dont try to copy others by saying that we fight fire with fire, and there has never been a result when fire fights fire, the result only appears when fire ffights with water.

  • Skids on October 5, 2007, 2:35 GMT

    I just don't understand why it bothers people when Indian cricketers show their aggression. Sreesanth's attitude is a welcome change to the times when not so long ago Indian batsmen used to cringe at the bouncers ad beamers hurled at them from the West Indians and Thomson, Lee from Australia, and the bullying from John Snow and Bob Willis. They did not have the bowlers then to give as good as they got, including Kapil Dev. Perhaps Mr. Dileep is more comfortable with the docile Indian cricketers (losers) who were always polite and well mannered and clapped at the opposition hitting them all over the park. Well, he needs to get a reality check. If Sreesanth was an Australian, nobody would write anything about him. Mr. Dileep, we live in a different world now, now and India is a different country. India needs more aggressive sportsmen/women like Sreesanth, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Sania Mirza. Remember Vijay Amritraj? A talented tennis player who never won anything because he had no killer insti

  • MrSteve on October 4, 2007, 23:27 GMT

    Why does performance on the field excuse bad behaviour? Poor behaviour is poor behaviour anyway you slice it, regardless of your match figures.

  • usa2007 on October 4, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    I dont think what sreesanth did/said to symonds is entirely right,but australians deserve that and more. Mcgrath might have been a good bowler but that doesn't take away the fact that he was worse than Sreesanth ever can be in mouthing on the field. If the referee wants to get involved in this, then he better go back in history and fine/discipline all those australians who have sledged in the past years - remember slater to dravid, mcgrath to every possible batsman, ponting to dravid,ganguly,sehwag etc in the last series ????

  • salim on October 4, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    I agree with what you have to say in your article for the most part. The part I don't agree with is when you present the argument about Glenn McGrath sledging and was right in doing so because he was the best in the world. Sledging has nothing to do with how good you are in the long term. It is totally about the moment. Sreesanth sledges when he bowls a good delivery. He sledges when the batsman plays and misses. He doesen't hide his joy of getting the batsman out when he does get the wicket, whereas most times McGrath used his choicest expletives when a Lara or a Tendulkar smacked him out of the park. Having said that, doesen't take anything away from what a great bowler McGrath was or the fact that Sreesanth overdoes it at times. But the Aussies should be the last ones to be mad about it. The premise for sledging is not whether you are a great cricketer but that you are on top at that moment. Ganguly did it best. I'd personally prefer a Zak but will take a Sree any day in my team!!

  • ChrisG on October 4, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    Thanks for the article, however, I'm sick of hearing about the Aussies being "bullies" - and this article was heavily in favour of that. It was so obvious that Sreesanth was the fool this time, and yet you concentrate mostly on how bad (you think) the Aussies are, or have been. How about an unbiased article criticizing your countrymen with no need to "even" the conversation by jabbing at the opposition, and in this case, more so. And don't give me this nonsense about how India and Australia now have the "three world titles on offer" between them. You simply can't compare the 20-20 lottery to the 50-over World Cup, Champions Trophy, or the other "world" title, the Ashes, which you so conveniently left out, presumably because it doesn't involve your beloved sub-continent.

    Dileep - grow up already.

  • harshjadav on October 4, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    It is good to see both teams played aggresive cricket in ground and also during off the field. This increases the interesent in cricket. But they shoud not forget the rules, this kind of activity increases the tension of captain, so player should aware of that thing also.

    I hope India will level the series, and I want to mention one thing that we exactly not aware of the things that had been occured on the field, we know as the players' announced. I think umpire should interfere in this and they should know what actully what happened on the ground because once you make angry another person then only you woould say few word, so the player who made first mistake should be treated more. So, in this case umpires' can play a major role. Thank you

  • usha on October 4, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    I think the sledging experts are Australia and they started almost a decade ago...but they got away with it because they were good on the field too. So everyone at the time thought that its the arrogance which usually comes with being very good at your job. When Steve Waugh came out and said that it was deliberate to play phycological games with the opposition, everybody took note and said they can have that weapon in their armoury too..so Australia are getting as good as they give...they can't now start crying over it, can they?

    As for being a gentleman's game...sorry that period is over..when people used to play test matches before catching the next ship leaving port..so given that its big bucks, big money and careers now...its now part of the game...I think we should introduce yellow cards and red cards as in soccer and give them to the umpires...

    look at the positive...Zaheer Khan's bowling subsequent to being chatted up in England..

  • louis77 on October 4, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    Mr. Premachandran has written on a topic that is foremost on everyone's mind. However, the article is strongly biased in favour of the Indian cricket team. It's strange that so many have forgotten that Australia were one of the 3 nominees for the Spirit of Cricket award this year. India have displayed an appalling habit of behaving badly when playing against Australia since the 2003 World Cup. Nobody liked Australia's behaviour before so they should also have a problem with India's. Australia are a brilliant cricket side and are now better behaved than India. Instead of condoning India's actions by saying 'Clarke, cherub face and all, is developing a bit of a reputation as an instigator', we should just accept that Harbhajan Singh is very badly behaved on the field and whenever he gets caught, he blames it on Australia. He's done it for years and never got into trouble because everyone's afraid of persecuting the Asian teams. Australia are no longer the 'bullies' but India certainly is

  • rienzied on October 5, 2007, 8:33 GMT

    The whole thing about sledging is that it is intended to cause one to be distracted and lose focus of the game. My take is give some and take some. If you cannot take it, then DONT give it. Harby, Sreesanth have lost the plot. By the end of today, Australia will be 2-0 up and all because the focus of the criket match has been made secondary. These guys have taken it personally and lot focus. Well done Ponting and Co, you guys have really managed to keep the game in perspective!!!

  • SAMEER_I_J on October 5, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    Big mouth and less action. I think that if India wants to live in the past so be it. But the truth is that, they have to play good cricket. India themselves didnot like the sledging by the Australians when it was done before and said that its not good for the spirit of the game and personal interactions. But now it seems that India wants to take a bath in the same pit. Set examples dont try to copy others by saying that we fight fire with fire, and there has never been a result when fire fights fire, the result only appears when fire ffights with water.

  • Skids on October 5, 2007, 2:35 GMT

    I just don't understand why it bothers people when Indian cricketers show their aggression. Sreesanth's attitude is a welcome change to the times when not so long ago Indian batsmen used to cringe at the bouncers ad beamers hurled at them from the West Indians and Thomson, Lee from Australia, and the bullying from John Snow and Bob Willis. They did not have the bowlers then to give as good as they got, including Kapil Dev. Perhaps Mr. Dileep is more comfortable with the docile Indian cricketers (losers) who were always polite and well mannered and clapped at the opposition hitting them all over the park. Well, he needs to get a reality check. If Sreesanth was an Australian, nobody would write anything about him. Mr. Dileep, we live in a different world now, now and India is a different country. India needs more aggressive sportsmen/women like Sreesanth, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Sania Mirza. Remember Vijay Amritraj? A talented tennis player who never won anything because he had no killer insti

  • MrSteve on October 4, 2007, 23:27 GMT

    Why does performance on the field excuse bad behaviour? Poor behaviour is poor behaviour anyway you slice it, regardless of your match figures.

  • usa2007 on October 4, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    I dont think what sreesanth did/said to symonds is entirely right,but australians deserve that and more. Mcgrath might have been a good bowler but that doesn't take away the fact that he was worse than Sreesanth ever can be in mouthing on the field. If the referee wants to get involved in this, then he better go back in history and fine/discipline all those australians who have sledged in the past years - remember slater to dravid, mcgrath to every possible batsman, ponting to dravid,ganguly,sehwag etc in the last series ????

  • salim on October 4, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    I agree with what you have to say in your article for the most part. The part I don't agree with is when you present the argument about Glenn McGrath sledging and was right in doing so because he was the best in the world. Sledging has nothing to do with how good you are in the long term. It is totally about the moment. Sreesanth sledges when he bowls a good delivery. He sledges when the batsman plays and misses. He doesen't hide his joy of getting the batsman out when he does get the wicket, whereas most times McGrath used his choicest expletives when a Lara or a Tendulkar smacked him out of the park. Having said that, doesen't take anything away from what a great bowler McGrath was or the fact that Sreesanth overdoes it at times. But the Aussies should be the last ones to be mad about it. The premise for sledging is not whether you are a great cricketer but that you are on top at that moment. Ganguly did it best. I'd personally prefer a Zak but will take a Sree any day in my team!!

  • ChrisG on October 4, 2007, 21:24 GMT

    Thanks for the article, however, I'm sick of hearing about the Aussies being "bullies" - and this article was heavily in favour of that. It was so obvious that Sreesanth was the fool this time, and yet you concentrate mostly on how bad (you think) the Aussies are, or have been. How about an unbiased article criticizing your countrymen with no need to "even" the conversation by jabbing at the opposition, and in this case, more so. And don't give me this nonsense about how India and Australia now have the "three world titles on offer" between them. You simply can't compare the 20-20 lottery to the 50-over World Cup, Champions Trophy, or the other "world" title, the Ashes, which you so conveniently left out, presumably because it doesn't involve your beloved sub-continent.

    Dileep - grow up already.

  • harshjadav on October 4, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    It is good to see both teams played aggresive cricket in ground and also during off the field. This increases the interesent in cricket. But they shoud not forget the rules, this kind of activity increases the tension of captain, so player should aware of that thing also.

    I hope India will level the series, and I want to mention one thing that we exactly not aware of the things that had been occured on the field, we know as the players' announced. I think umpire should interfere in this and they should know what actully what happened on the ground because once you make angry another person then only you woould say few word, so the player who made first mistake should be treated more. So, in this case umpires' can play a major role. Thank you

  • usha on October 4, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    I think the sledging experts are Australia and they started almost a decade ago...but they got away with it because they were good on the field too. So everyone at the time thought that its the arrogance which usually comes with being very good at your job. When Steve Waugh came out and said that it was deliberate to play phycological games with the opposition, everybody took note and said they can have that weapon in their armoury too..so Australia are getting as good as they give...they can't now start crying over it, can they?

    As for being a gentleman's game...sorry that period is over..when people used to play test matches before catching the next ship leaving port..so given that its big bucks, big money and careers now...its now part of the game...I think we should introduce yellow cards and red cards as in soccer and give them to the umpires...

    look at the positive...Zaheer Khan's bowling subsequent to being chatted up in England..

  • louis77 on October 4, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    Mr. Premachandran has written on a topic that is foremost on everyone's mind. However, the article is strongly biased in favour of the Indian cricket team. It's strange that so many have forgotten that Australia were one of the 3 nominees for the Spirit of Cricket award this year. India have displayed an appalling habit of behaving badly when playing against Australia since the 2003 World Cup. Nobody liked Australia's behaviour before so they should also have a problem with India's. Australia are a brilliant cricket side and are now better behaved than India. Instead of condoning India's actions by saying 'Clarke, cherub face and all, is developing a bit of a reputation as an instigator', we should just accept that Harbhajan Singh is very badly behaved on the field and whenever he gets caught, he blames it on Australia. He's done it for years and never got into trouble because everyone's afraid of persecuting the Asian teams. Australia are no longer the 'bullies' but India certainly is

  • Random_Guy on October 4, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    "Sreesanth's apologists will point to how McGrath used to carry on sometimes. Fair enough. But McGrath was also the best bowler in the world, certainly the best we'll ever see, and he never let the white-line fever affect his performance."

    You almost sound as if "If Sreesanth were to be the best bowler in the world then all his actions would be fine, but since he's not the best bowler his actions are not justifiable". I don't think it quite works that way. Its either right or wrong. Doesn't matter whether it is McGrath doing it or Sreesanth.

  • Avinash_vyas on October 4, 2007, 17:20 GMT

    Its been said time and again in context of all the articles on sledging. Just because someone is a better bowler or better batsman does not gives him the right to sledge. If Sreesanth or Harbhajan is no Mcgrath or Warne so be it. The only things to be compared is their on-field behaviour and not the cricket. I think I can send you atleast 10 links of videos of Warne and Mcgrath each even ponting for that matter, showing their on-field behaviour that went unpunished or even discussed. So lets stop this one-sided morality, talk about gentleman game. We have seen it from English players, South-Africans, New-Zealanders and other cricket playing nations as well. If these players are acceptable then so are Sreesanth and Bhajji. Here are some interesting ones http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WjZbpd49lBE&mode=related&search= http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-tCjf58Tw5A http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-IsVsLh-yGs&mode=related&search=

  • Gueswat on October 4, 2007, 17:02 GMT

    "Sreesanth's apologists will point to how McGrath used to carry on sometimes. Fair enough. But McGrath was also the best bowler in the world, certainly the best we'll ever see, and he never let the white-line fever affect his performance." I think the above argument which I have seen often carries no sense to it... how come if McGrath does it it's okay but if anyone else does it its a blasphemy.If it is wrong then it is wrong period it doesnt matter if he is the greatest bowler.Going by your argument you can easily justify McGrath killing anyone on pitch, he has the right to do it because it never affects his performance. When you dont have guts to point out at the biggies dont take your aim at others.

  • the_cricritic_for_the_great_game on October 4, 2007, 16:27 GMT

    A lot of what you said might be considered to be intellectually correct and for the purpose of good structure and good journalistic skills, make for a good article.

    However, your assertion(s)are and can be somewhat misleading.

    First of all, your assertion that "McGrath was also the best bowler in the world, certainly the best we'll ever see" is a statement that is open to debate. Statistically, you may wish to prove your point, by the weight and volume of you numbers, but you can never prove conclusovely the McGrath is "the best we'll ever see".Andy Roberts, Micheal Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Denis Lillee, and Fred Truman are a few name that come to mind.

    McGrath may be the best that you have seen, but certainly not the best that we'll will ever see.

    Courtney Walsh deserves to be mentioned here as well!

    And brielfy, it is refreshing to see a new breed of cricketers from India emerging with the self belief and confidence that can beat the world.

  • umairhuda on October 4, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    Being a cricket I would like to tell all the cricketers that there is no harm in chit chat, but it should be in limit..Cricket is gentlemen game and it should be played with the true spirit..

    Australian have been very raught and facing the same now from indians. I think Sresanth and Harbhajan are crossing their limits now days (as seen on TV),, being a great cricketer atleast I never expect this from Harbhajan & I hope he will look at his behaviour and will come with a true spirit.

    One more thing I would like mention that our young generation follows them and act like them.. not only in the field, out field as well.

  • rajachandra on October 4, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    Mr.Dileep, you seems to suffer from inferiority complex. Even if McGrath was also the best bowler in the world, certainly the best we'll ever see, does it alter the situation for or against Sree -santh ? A sledger is a sledger what ever his color or seniority is. Any day Sree is more entertaining even in his sledging which the poker faced Mcgrath never was!

    Despite your well paced admiration for Zahir and his obvious dig at Rahul ( that he was raring to go) after the much bandied follow-on imbroglio in England, the indubitable fact was Zahir failed to fire on all cylinders in the Second innings and it was an inspired Sree spell which kept the hopes going for a while on an improbable win.

    This is basic problem with you Cricket scribes and you miss the woods and trees all the time and see only see the ghosts and monsters you love to craete.

  • bharath_usa on October 4, 2007, 15:24 GMT

    Dileep, While I do agree with your article in spirit, the blame squarely lies at the helm of ICC. The current ICC rules regarding player behaviour are very subjective in nature. If you were to take a survey of neutral spectators after every fine, you will find that the majority disagrees with the match referees' judgement as being one-sided or inconsistent. Take for example the fine imposed on Sreesanth recently. Is there a manual that outlines what excessive appealing is? Does an appeal become excessive if it lasts longer than 5 seconds? Then why do umpires like Bucknor take so long to give judgement. I would go one step ahead and ask why there should be an appeal at all. As they say, the umpire is not swayed by the appeal in the first place. It appears from observation that ICC prefers you to utter the four letter word f*** in a whisper than call the opponent an idiot, loudly. Make rules more explicit with no room for bias.

  • Stang07 on October 4, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    Good one. I would like to cite my point of view. If you are talking about an international sport, it should be defined by some laws. When we talk about law, we talk about right or wrong and there is no exception to cricket. Either allow sledging or don't. There is no use fretting about the so called crossing-the-limit stuff. If everybody is okay with Australians (or any other team) indulging in exchange of words with a player like Ganguly talking about his personal life, then what's wrong with Sreesanth as long as things are not physical. I think this should also be taken in the spirit of the game.

  • FlyingSaffa on October 4, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    I think it's quite annoying how someone like Harbajhan has the nerve to complain about the Australians. Especially after the way he behaved in the 20/20 World Cup. Having only watched it on tv, it was quite obvious what words were coming out of his mouth. Not only to the Aussies, but to the South Africans as well. I think it was when he had Van Der Wath stumped, the language was foul and completely unnecessary. Now when he gets it back, he goes crying to the media. All I can say is "If you make your bed, then lie in it". I used to really admire Harbajhan. No longer.

  • gp1978 on October 4, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    Are you seriously suggesting that just because McGrath was a great bowler he gets to indulge in verbal volleys? And Sreesanth cant because he is not as good a bowler? That is the most ridiculous statement you have ever made (and you have made plenty). Or is it the Indian inferiority syndrome hitting you Dileep? (a white man can do what we cant). Indeed, one can make an argument that because of McGrath's stature in the game, kids are much more likely to look up to him as opposed to Sreesanth and he should have been setting an example and so held to a higher standard. I agree that Sreesanth crosses the line, but so did McGrath and if McGrath didnt get punished, I dont see why Sreesanth should.

  • third_man on October 4, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    While I agree that Sreensanth's attempted run-out of Symonds was a bit over the edge, over all I am quite happy to see the Indians give the Aussies a taste of their own medicine. Doesn't matter if the Aussie sledging has a more professional and subtle look to it while the Indians have a more rough and raw touch. This Indian team is an indication of the newer generation of India where we are no longer going to stand up to any nonsense. An eye for an eye. Frankly, I enjoy seeing some heated passion from our team. It was a fresh and inspiring change from the drab zombie team that had been cultivated under Chappell's watch.

  • stholas on October 4, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    What baloney! Dileep, you're the one that needs to grow up man. It's ok when the non-Asian teams do it? That's what your article implies! Enough. I'd rather see a fist fight than see a timid bowler returning to his mark to deliver the next boundary ball. When will we ever lose our inferiority complex? Not as long as such articles are published by respected writers on a respected website. Editors, please do your job!

  • nathanwebb on October 4, 2007, 12:19 GMT

    Absolutely spot on! For all of Sreesanth's antics, at the end of the day he is a very average bowler. RP Singh and H Singh are so much better bowlers. The best sledge is always to say, "back to the dressing room!"

  • mahjut on October 4, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    Most of what Smith said about the aussies was in fact true and most of his players had pretty good series in OZ - except him, which by the way is what he said he had intended "to take the presure onto himself".

    Ultimately it was always going to be an uphill struggle to compete with what was "head-and-shoulders" the best team around (SA were in 6th spot i think) and with the edge in every sense - head-to-head histroy, recent history, talent, league placement, experience. SA still managed to get into a position (in OZ) to declare. right decision, wrong team!

    IMO - Smith's verbals were the single reason SA even approached competing with OZ in every test for 4 (sometimes 4.5) days. It clearly got under the skin of some of the aussies as he hit the nail on a few occasions. ultimately though, they were also probably the reason why SA probably failed so dismally in SA in the return series - well, that and a particularly good series for Clark of course.

  • VARANASI on October 4, 2007, 10:58 GMT

    Yes, cricket in this partucluar series is not in an enjoyable mood. Want to see wonderful cricket being played by both the teams on the cricket field. We the public are sitting before ythe TV for that and not for words being exchanged between the players and that too very often. Aussies and Indians remember that you are playing for your country and not galli cricket. Please for the games sake atleast, reduce your sledging tactics . Pl. put them under control atleast. Give us a wonderful fighting series with the bat and ball.

  • juny on October 4, 2007, 10:30 GMT

    Well, All I can say is, the kind of on field behaviour is not the one associated with the Indians. So when some lad from Indian Team expresses, it get highlighted. I have seen Bret Lee, Sledging from Ball number one and the lip movement is so obvious. I dont see why media is hunting Sreesanth.

  • maxjones on October 4, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    The Aussies cant digest when given their own medicine. The Aussies behave as though sledging is their patent and nobody can do it against them. if somebody does it they view it as a cheapish and kiddish behaviour. About Mcgrath, being the best bowler in the world doesnt mean you have the right to sledge anybody.Then what about Walshy,Curtley and Joel Garner they were best bowlers in the world in their era but they did not sledge as much as Mcgrath to dominate the game. Just a stare was enough. I had hardly seen any Aussie getting punishment for their onfield behaviour in the recent times. Had it been any other country player he would surely been slapped on the wrist.

  • RajaSaab on October 4, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Suffice it to say that if you cant back the talk, dont walk the talk. Sreesanth needs to realize that he is no Glenn McGrath yet, infact far from it. If and when he reaches there he could be better than McGrath and take a leaf out of Courtney Walsh's book and let the ball do the talking rather than his histrionics.

  • Akhilesh on October 4, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    Australians are mentally very tough and will always rise to the occassion. There is only one man who can match their toughness and even outthink them. BCCI, please bring back Ganguly as the captain. He is a born leader, and Aussies know that he will lift the team. Even if he doesn't score any runs, he is still the best man to lead India. Initially, I didn't have respect for him but his comeback shows that he never shys away from a challenge.

  • Ganta on October 4, 2007, 9:35 GMT

    Australians, have always had the reputation being great sledgers. It is very evident from thier comments in the media,that India's 20-20 success has not gone very well with them. They targeted some key india players before the one day series began, its upto indian players to mix their agression with some good cricket. Best way for indians to have thier word at them is by winning the series.

  • parrikar on October 4, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    The Indian players look like monkeys with all the silly snarling and hissing. You have a beanpole like Sreesanth gnashing his teeth at a mountain of a man like Symonds. How moronic is that, eh? It makes all the Indians look like clowns.

    These new Indians mistake vacuous theatrics for aggression. Kapil Dev didn't need histrionic displays to dispay his power - his performance and skill on the field spoke loud and clear.

    The Australians may play hard but they play fair. Above all, the Australians have the results to back their words. These little details somehow escape Dileep Premachandran and the rest of the herd in the Indian cricket punditocracy.

  • hisaurabhmishra on October 4, 2007, 8:49 GMT

    Dear Dileep, Indeed a nice articulation of some of the recent happenings on and off the cricket field but i certainly fail to understand this bias towards Australians from my own countryman. we blame,abuse and curse our own cricketers( bashing Sreesanth is a fad these days) for any aggression they have shown on the field and somehow we are ignorant to the fact what are the things which are leading to such a situation. Tendulkar arguably one of the most graceful cricketer of our times was playing and that idiot Hayden( Who seems to have hit a purple patch these days) is sledging from behind, is that acceptable to us? when Indians are fielding only Sreesanth is having a go on the Symonds but when Harbhajan got out the whole Australian team huddles and passing some nasty remarks and we Indian would be very happy to accept those remarks lying down.... only thing pending is a win over Australia and then we deserve a bigger celebration then we had only to rub salt on their wound.

  • JB77 on October 4, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    Opposition teams seem to think that in order to beat Australia, they have to try and copy their on-field attitude. However, while they are busy trying to be tough, they forget to play their best cricket and Australia walk all over them as ususal. Then comes the inevitable out-cry seeking to justify the on-field behaviour of the opposition ( i.e. "the Australians have always been sledgers and we were just doing what they always do"). Enough already. If you want to beat Australia, forget about all the foolishness out in the middle and play some great cricket - its the best way to keep the opposition's mouth shut.

  • Bemused on October 4, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    Lets face it. Indians have not been brought up to sledge in English like the Aussies. But sledging in Hindi can be done to same effect by Indians. It gets the aggression out and the opponents will not be offended. The Aussies know exactly the where line is and they can be discrete and made sledging into a perfect science. It is a relatively new concept for Indians. There are bound to be some teething problems and some over the top actions/comments by the eager apprentices like Sreesanth before they master this skill. Unless umpires and players themselves realise that it is the bat or the ball that should do the talking, cricket is destined to become an ugly sport. I suggest a "red card system" if players cross the line like in football. For people who enjoy swearing and abuse there is WWF, boxing and football, so could cricket be played in the sporting spirit so as not to lose the young audience they have just managed to draw following the 20-20 series. Thank you very much!!!

  • crpcarrot on October 4, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    Although i agree that sometimes Srisanth does take over the line, India shouldn't take all symonds and other austrailian players complaining seriously. personally i think its a prt of their mental disintegration strategy. they probably figure making srisanth look bad at the press conferences will affect his bowling badly. however srisanth definitely need to back up his words with actions cos when he mouths off at a batsman and then bowls a wide it looks pretty dumb.

    Also Gilchrist has no right to pass judgement on other teams behaviour. Having had to suffer countless times of obviously crass and vulgar abuse from asutralians (and at times racists) he ought to clean his own back yeard first. like ranatunga suggested a long long time ago turning the stum microphones up will probably show who is the real instigator.

  • Angelo on October 4, 2007, 8:17 GMT

    It seems very unfair to See Australian complaining like school kids when they are given the same medicine of sledging.

    Its shame to know that the Indian reporters going on about Sreesanths behaviours on the field ... what about the behaviours of the Australian players specially Simonds. Indian Lack the team spirit overall from the Captain himself (Dhoni) going back on the insidence when Sreesanth appealed for the run out of Simonds I guess Dohni should not have said "Try to get him out in other ways" that is a very cheap thing to say to a player of the own team by a captain. If Ricky pointing was the captain in this situations I am pretty sure that He would stuck by his team player (nd which he has done in many occations) Overall Dhoni is too imature to run the Team if he behaves like this. I do not deny Sreesanth is behaving a bit spicy at times.. but one should not forget his past performances. If dhony and the Idian reporters write on BBC about is behaviours in a manner in whic

  • PankajSharma on October 4, 2007, 8:07 GMT

    Ti fight back in this series, let keep the aggression. Australians do not really like when someone behaves like they do. They are known to be rude but make a big deal when someone else does it. If we bend down and stop this chit-chat, they will be all over us and we would not have any chance to win remaining matches.

    We have a good balance by Sreesanth talking with them and other focussing on the game... :)

  • abhijitd on October 4, 2007, 7:46 GMT

    sreesanth does need to control his aggression but the aussies arn't the most pleasnt people to be around. its nice to see a team really give it back to the australians they have bullied other teams for too long.

  • ufils on October 4, 2007, 7:41 GMT

    Personally I don't think any player on the field should be allowed to speak directly to the opposition. Especially wicketkeepers. I think you can try to put the opposition off their game with general comments, but not direct talk as this disrupts concentration. If the batsman is silly enough to listen to this and begin to chatter to his team mate or himself in response, then he has only himself to blame for his lack of concentration. But I think direct talk to the opposition on the field should be punished severely.

    From Ufils

  • danmcb on October 4, 2007, 7:37 GMT

    The whole sledging thing is waaaay over the top now. It's time umpires and match refs started having a zero tolerance policy on this rubbish. *Any* insults, personal comments - warning, then a fine. End of story. Likewise with bowling beamers, throwing at the batsman and the rest of it. Time to make the gentleman's sport back into one again.

  • sugumar14 on October 4, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    My only question why ricky ponting is hesitating to play in india because of the spin or slow track?in which he is not genuine. i think he will play in the fourth ODI only if is team wins the third one. i really dont know he is injured the way he looks. and he plays well only in Australia, South Africa,England most fast tracks. and he has never played well in India maybe his form will get down if he plays in spin and slow tracks

  • Kiran_dxb on October 4, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Well... I am not sure everyone is making so much noise of the on-field behavior of the Indian team, all of a sudden! No one talks when Brett Lee / Andre Nel / Flintoff / Clarke / Hayden / Symonds / and the list can last for 11 more lines... when they are not doing the gentleman's game any help with their on field behaviors!! With all respect to the Cricketing talent of the Aussies, I must say they are a very very arrogant side, always chatting and trying to get under the skin of the opposition! And when they are doing it, the boundries for the so called line are widened! WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BRING THEM IN WHEN INDIANS DO IT???

    Does anybody have an answer?

  • Harry on October 4, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    I havent seen the 2nd ODI and Iam not sure how's the behavious of Sreesanth. But a little agression from Indians is a must. its payback time from the Indians - and Iam happy that the youngsters havent taken up the challenge to the Aussies. It would have been better had the older guys (sachin, dravid) done this to Warne n Mcgrath while they were young. Ofcourse Aussies will complain that our cricketters behavious is silly or gully type behaviour - thats a part of their plan. My message to the indian team is - dont care about their comments - n just bully them. Ofcourse the players should not have physical contact, and the crown should just stay back relax and enjoy the proceeding. Any injuries to Aussies by the crowd will result in messing up of a fantastic series which is under way. Cricket should be played with full and controled physical and mental aggression. All the best Team India.

  • kunushah on October 4, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    I have to say this sledging business has gone too far and its a bit boring now. Australia need to realise they are good enough to beat teams with their cricket - they dont need all this nonsense. Andrew Symonds I have to say is a sissy! He will resort to all sorts of sledging tactics but whenever someone tries to sledge him back - he will run towards the umpire to complain, or cry about it in the press conference! I agree with Gilchrist- its all kiddish and they need to stop doing the same too

  • kaushiq on October 4, 2007, 7:00 GMT

    No doubt that Sreesanth is a good potential bowler but then again there is no doubt that he is still an immature kid, mostly like the gully players who seem to have different rules while playing. If you can bowl then you can be a bowler but to be a cricketer i guess you also need to know the rules of the game. Aggression is loved by all but such silly behaviour can make your opposition lose their control and also do something stupid, specially in games where pride is more. This sort of behaviour can change the face of the game and turn it into an ugly battle from a competitve one. It not only goes for Sreesanth but all. Respect the game, the game will resppect you.

  • Reaper on October 4, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    I wonder if McGrath was ever suspended or Ban from any game's . This poor lad (Sreeshant) is trying to make a name for himself and is the only person from our team apart from Ganguly who give's it back . And i respect him for this yes sometime's he does thing's that dont make sense but who does not . Howcome a white guy does not get into this mess.

    I am not getting into racisim , but it's a question which must be asked .

    Most no. of Ban's and Suspensions have come upon Asian player's . Does not seem fair .

    Play the game in the right spirit this statement does not hold good anymore . It's just like a war but we hope it does not get any worse

    Regards Prakash

  • Idol on October 4, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    I agree performance is more critical than sledging. However, this issue remain unaddressed by the ICC for too long. In the 80's, fighting fire with fire meant playing good cricket because that is what the Windies did. Now, with the Aussies, it has a different meaning. It's wrong to assume that sledging has made them champs. However, has the ICC does enough to clip the Aussie wings when they have crossed the line? Cant remember when an Aussie was punished for his behaviour last. If the ICC is trying to say that the Aussies are right then it cant expect others to exercise restraint. When you allow players to distract one another - can we define the limits? There is either sledging or no sledging. There cant be an in-between variety. If codes of conduct should set an example to kids, then they need to be uniform. ICC's track record is very poor on this front. As long as this disparity continues as an integral part of Australia's "success", things will only get worse

  • Rezaul on October 4, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    I feel sorry for Sreesanth. But I do understand his position as he is a raw furious fast bowling talent. Its very important to deal with him in correct manner. Coach and seniors may play a significant role here. However, I am not not going to support to cut his agression which an important aspect of a fast bowler whom batters should be afraid of facing.

  • kanhaiya on October 4, 2007, 6:28 GMT

    Sreesanth really need some cool out there in the middle. Now the water is flowing over the head. Someone from the seniors need to talk with him seriously about this, that these childish behavior doesn't bring success in this game. A ban is likely on him very soon if he refuge to change his way. After all why is he making Andre nel his idol.

  • Swaminathan on October 4, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    I really appreciate the way this problem has been analysed.

    I strongly agree the point that the cricket has come across a long way, Thanks to aussis, but the worst thing which has come along with them to the international cricket is sledging.

    They might have won three world cups, but still they could not able to win the hearts of the public across the world. That can happen only when they stop sledging.

  • JezmundFamilyBerserker on October 4, 2007, 6:16 GMT

    The age old adage: 'Action speaks louder than words' should be pinned up in the dressing room and especially in Sreesanth's locker. To fight fire with fire, bomb with bomb, aggression with aggression is logic enough. But when it goes overboard it is ugly. I cannot help but cringe in front of the telly. And saying that McGrath did it, Hayden does it, Symonds does it, Why not I is stupidity. They have the numbers behind them and Sreesanth does not have any yet to prove he is in their league. I hope Sreesanth takes the cue from Zaheer, which was pointed out by Rahul Dravid in an interview during the Natwest trophy.

  • jokerr7 on October 4, 2007, 6:00 GMT

    If this had been an Australian bowler there would have been a loud outraged howling from the sub-continent demanding suspension. Too often the Australians are painted as the only protagonists in this manner and as soon as the opposition come under scrutiny they play the "rascist" card or produce a statement saying I couldn't help it the awful Aussies provoked me (see Harbhajan's outburst). If you want to play hard ball then don't run and hide afterwards. For Symonds to have walked down to support Haddin, Sreesanth must have crossed the line - no Aussie will begrudge an opponent the chance to question technique, skill, temperament, courage or ability but there is no acceptance of personal abuse. The authorities and the respective boards have made this type of behaviour unacceptable. In Australian club cricket where this was once rife it's no longer acceptable due to the Spirit of Cricket agreement initiated at national & 1st class level. Sreesanth should be reprimanded & fined.

  • Nosjack on October 4, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    Hear hear.

    Sledging has no positive point, its basically an admission that instead of trying to get the Batsmen out with the ball, you're trying to get him out with your tongue. It's tired and old and sets the wrong example and gives the wrong impression to anyone who flicks on the 6 o'clock news.

  • dj8585 on October 4, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    The Indians especially Sreesanth should know how to give it back to the Aussies without being too demonstrative. After watching the match people would think why Harbhajan was peeved as there was no visible signs of confrontation. Stealth is what sets the Aussies apart when it comes to sledging.

  • sankris on October 4, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    I'm not really sure if you are supporting the worst of the bowlers of this kind McGrath or opposing him. I'd even go to extent of saying Mcgrath wouldn't be half the bowler he now is, if he kept his mouth shut. That guy is the scum of the lowest order to have ever bowled on a cricketing field.

    What Sreesanth does is nothing compared to what that guy did. The only mistake on Sreesanth's part is he is animated and shows it to the world that he is doing this while Mcgrath did it without showing any emotion.

    If someone really demeans you and your family and still keeps a smiling face, let's see how you react. After all Sreesanth is a young guy facing all this rubbish.

    For all I care, Aussies should have been barred from playing the game (if it were ever so gentlemanly) long time back. The fact that they are still playing and doing so in their terms says a lot about the managers of the game and commentators like you.

  • passionateindian on October 4, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    Well all said and done with comparisons of past bowlers, i think it is right and absolutely the correct manner to treat bloody Aussies. They deserve every bit of it. There is a saying, "What goes around comes around"...so whatever Steve waugh, Shane Warne and Mcgrath started....these guys have to shut up and put up with it and move on with the game. They are reacting because they are getting the taste of their own medicine....good on u India...back it with the performance and all the so called experts and journalists will be eating their words. I have to ask one more question....why was such a article not written when the aussies were talking and chirping....it is only when non whites get on the act....so many times have aussies gone unpunished where they could have been banned for life/penalised heavily so to speak....

    so all u journalist and team of martin williamson....have a fair view of the situation and look at what u guys have done in the past....before commenting.......

  • thaikkathameed on October 4, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    The behaviour of Sreeshanth is not at all encouraging for the cause of the game of cricket. He should be banned from the game for such childish displays. What is the use if he is a good bowler and he does not even know the basics of the rules of the game. I cannot understand how a keralite is so cultureless and making a fool of himself. He thinks it is aggression. For aggression he should look at the Australian team. They are aggressive, both with their behaviour and their game. But Sreeshanth by acting like a child, he shows the world that he is not aggressive but insane. The photo in one of the malayalam newspapers shows the true picture. If he learns his lesson and mends his ways it is good for him, otherwise it will be "once upon a time a guy from Kerala named Sreeshanth also played for India but was sacked from the team because of discipline".

  • perl57 on October 4, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    Dileep as always, I disagree with your rosy picture of the few people like McGrath. Indians sledged against those who are pure predators of sledging. They did not sledge Gilly. But what did McGrath do? He sledged Sachin, The greatest to play cricket as of yet. Ranjan Madugalle, Chris Broad all of them are silent because they know that any one of their words might become case for yet another Darrel Hair case. McGrath resorted to sledging until 2004. Remember the way he was sledging sachin to perform the pull shot in chennai test? And then Sachin showed through out the ODI series that he was no greater than a club bowler? Time and again, Oz do things like "you do, it is prostitution, I do it is called Romance." And the brothers from Nine MSN or Cricket Australia never talk of it, then why do you advocate India to go cautiously? Yes, people will put foot in their mouth and then realize, they have to do it cautiously.Zaheer learnt same way. Remember world cup final of 2003.stop-favoring-Oz

  • Sandeep_K_Ram on October 4, 2007, 4:39 GMT

    So glenn mcgrath can get away with all he wants because he is the best bowler ? So tomorrow Sachin Tendulkar is to be let off the hook if he swings his bat at one of the chirpy aussies ? Flawed logic here ...

    Sreesanth can be over the top but nothing like what the Aussies do . Take Brag Hogg ..for a spinner , his follow through ends up at first slip with a lot of pep words for the batsmen . Did you not see him running upto Gautam Gambhir from cover and short mid-on and having some words with him ..all unprovoked ?

    Hayden giving Harbhajan some lip as he made it to the strikers end was picked up on the stump mic .Clarke is looking more and more like he has taken over the mantle of being the smiling sledger . Successful or not , you are not supposed to personally insult another player. Mr Dileeps argument that such things should be backed up with success is ridiculous. By that logic , Zimbabwe and Bangladsh should take in all that stuff just because they are minnows ?

  • DennisXI on October 4, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    i think ppl are going over the top in their reactionto sreesanth's antics... guess we aren't used to indians showing off their aggression on the field... for indians its ok if the goras do this kind of stuff but when it comes to one of your own doing it you don't support the guy but pull him down...

  • mushy876 on October 4, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    Hi Dileep, Having played a bit of cricket and having captained a few teams,I'd surely have no problems if a few in my team would want to fight fire with fire.I'm sure Dhoni would'nt mind either.Infact,I believe, he would encourage it! As you would know, the English are trying to stamp out bullying from their schools and society.These Aussies are just that,bullys.Hayden and Symonds are the biggest example,quite literally! I am not sure that you would have to be a Mcgrath to be allowed to sledge.Did'nt Ponting start this saga off by saying that they have 20 games this summer and that Sreesanth would have to walk the talk?Well Sree has got both Hayden and Symonds in the 2 games and from where I see it..he has been winning this battle,Walking-the-talk!! And for the gentlemanly Gilchrist,what about his mad-bull run towards the umpire for a wrong no-ball call?Wasnt that intimidation? I'd like to know..would he have similarly confronted Bucknor? Feel better now! Cheers.

  • Justin on October 4, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Not only the on the field antics, but the childish finger pointing off the field. It's everybody -else's- fault. It's okay to go overboard because, hey, somebody else did first. The Aussie newspapers have been a joke thus far, pointing at Sreesanth but little mention of Symonds, Hayden, Clarke et al. Hopefully this series will not be ruined by things best left at the school yard.

  • NumberXI on October 4, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    Far too much is made of Sreesanth's on-field behaviour, often at the expense of his bowling skills, which have taken him to the top spot in the wickets column in this series.

    When one considers Symonds' "animal" comment after seeing India's celebrations post the 20-20 win, what India's cricketers have done is pretty much everyday stuff. And they have every right to react as they have done so far, even if only in reaction to such an asinine comment. Indeed, it was Sreesanth's on-field aggression which played a big role in that semi-final in Durban where he managed to get under the skin of Hayden and Symonds which made a big difference.

    Gilchrist and his team's holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to being at the receiving end of any sledging in cricket is typically aggrieved Aussie.

    Sreesanth's early-career approach reminds me of another Indian sportsman whose on-court demeanour was much criticised along roughly the same lines but who went on to become one of the most succe

  • Sudhir_Varma on October 4, 2007, 4:03 GMT

    Hi,

    I believe that Sreesanth has to be rested for atleast a couple of games to clearly send out the message to him that the sport is bigger than himself. It is rather painful to watch him clown about the opposition and I guess he gets the inspiration from people like John Mcenroe or Glen Mcgrath, but he must remember the fact that he does not have even a fraction of the abilities that the others had...Grow up,kid, and play your game first...leave all your pent up emotions at home and probably show it on someone else at home, maybe??

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  • Sudhir_Varma on October 4, 2007, 4:03 GMT

    Hi,

    I believe that Sreesanth has to be rested for atleast a couple of games to clearly send out the message to him that the sport is bigger than himself. It is rather painful to watch him clown about the opposition and I guess he gets the inspiration from people like John Mcenroe or Glen Mcgrath, but he must remember the fact that he does not have even a fraction of the abilities that the others had...Grow up,kid, and play your game first...leave all your pent up emotions at home and probably show it on someone else at home, maybe??

  • NumberXI on October 4, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    Far too much is made of Sreesanth's on-field behaviour, often at the expense of his bowling skills, which have taken him to the top spot in the wickets column in this series.

    When one considers Symonds' "animal" comment after seeing India's celebrations post the 20-20 win, what India's cricketers have done is pretty much everyday stuff. And they have every right to react as they have done so far, even if only in reaction to such an asinine comment. Indeed, it was Sreesanth's on-field aggression which played a big role in that semi-final in Durban where he managed to get under the skin of Hayden and Symonds which made a big difference.

    Gilchrist and his team's holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to being at the receiving end of any sledging in cricket is typically aggrieved Aussie.

    Sreesanth's early-career approach reminds me of another Indian sportsman whose on-court demeanour was much criticised along roughly the same lines but who went on to become one of the most succe

  • Justin on October 4, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. Not only the on the field antics, but the childish finger pointing off the field. It's everybody -else's- fault. It's okay to go overboard because, hey, somebody else did first. The Aussie newspapers have been a joke thus far, pointing at Sreesanth but little mention of Symonds, Hayden, Clarke et al. Hopefully this series will not be ruined by things best left at the school yard.

  • mushy876 on October 4, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    Hi Dileep, Having played a bit of cricket and having captained a few teams,I'd surely have no problems if a few in my team would want to fight fire with fire.I'm sure Dhoni would'nt mind either.Infact,I believe, he would encourage it! As you would know, the English are trying to stamp out bullying from their schools and society.These Aussies are just that,bullys.Hayden and Symonds are the biggest example,quite literally! I am not sure that you would have to be a Mcgrath to be allowed to sledge.Did'nt Ponting start this saga off by saying that they have 20 games this summer and that Sreesanth would have to walk the talk?Well Sree has got both Hayden and Symonds in the 2 games and from where I see it..he has been winning this battle,Walking-the-talk!! And for the gentlemanly Gilchrist,what about his mad-bull run towards the umpire for a wrong no-ball call?Wasnt that intimidation? I'd like to know..would he have similarly confronted Bucknor? Feel better now! Cheers.

  • DennisXI on October 4, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    i think ppl are going over the top in their reactionto sreesanth's antics... guess we aren't used to indians showing off their aggression on the field... for indians its ok if the goras do this kind of stuff but when it comes to one of your own doing it you don't support the guy but pull him down...

  • Sandeep_K_Ram on October 4, 2007, 4:39 GMT

    So glenn mcgrath can get away with all he wants because he is the best bowler ? So tomorrow Sachin Tendulkar is to be let off the hook if he swings his bat at one of the chirpy aussies ? Flawed logic here ...

    Sreesanth can be over the top but nothing like what the Aussies do . Take Brag Hogg ..for a spinner , his follow through ends up at first slip with a lot of pep words for the batsmen . Did you not see him running upto Gautam Gambhir from cover and short mid-on and having some words with him ..all unprovoked ?

    Hayden giving Harbhajan some lip as he made it to the strikers end was picked up on the stump mic .Clarke is looking more and more like he has taken over the mantle of being the smiling sledger . Successful or not , you are not supposed to personally insult another player. Mr Dileeps argument that such things should be backed up with success is ridiculous. By that logic , Zimbabwe and Bangladsh should take in all that stuff just because they are minnows ?

  • perl57 on October 4, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    Dileep as always, I disagree with your rosy picture of the few people like McGrath. Indians sledged against those who are pure predators of sledging. They did not sledge Gilly. But what did McGrath do? He sledged Sachin, The greatest to play cricket as of yet. Ranjan Madugalle, Chris Broad all of them are silent because they know that any one of their words might become case for yet another Darrel Hair case. McGrath resorted to sledging until 2004. Remember the way he was sledging sachin to perform the pull shot in chennai test? And then Sachin showed through out the ODI series that he was no greater than a club bowler? Time and again, Oz do things like "you do, it is prostitution, I do it is called Romance." And the brothers from Nine MSN or Cricket Australia never talk of it, then why do you advocate India to go cautiously? Yes, people will put foot in their mouth and then realize, they have to do it cautiously.Zaheer learnt same way. Remember world cup final of 2003.stop-favoring-Oz

  • thaikkathameed on October 4, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    The behaviour of Sreeshanth is not at all encouraging for the cause of the game of cricket. He should be banned from the game for such childish displays. What is the use if he is a good bowler and he does not even know the basics of the rules of the game. I cannot understand how a keralite is so cultureless and making a fool of himself. He thinks it is aggression. For aggression he should look at the Australian team. They are aggressive, both with their behaviour and their game. But Sreeshanth by acting like a child, he shows the world that he is not aggressive but insane. The photo in one of the malayalam newspapers shows the true picture. If he learns his lesson and mends his ways it is good for him, otherwise it will be "once upon a time a guy from Kerala named Sreeshanth also played for India but was sacked from the team because of discipline".

  • passionateindian on October 4, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    Well all said and done with comparisons of past bowlers, i think it is right and absolutely the correct manner to treat bloody Aussies. They deserve every bit of it. There is a saying, "What goes around comes around"...so whatever Steve waugh, Shane Warne and Mcgrath started....these guys have to shut up and put up with it and move on with the game. They are reacting because they are getting the taste of their own medicine....good on u India...back it with the performance and all the so called experts and journalists will be eating their words. I have to ask one more question....why was such a article not written when the aussies were talking and chirping....it is only when non whites get on the act....so many times have aussies gone unpunished where they could have been banned for life/penalised heavily so to speak....

    so all u journalist and team of martin williamson....have a fair view of the situation and look at what u guys have done in the past....before commenting.......

  • sankris on October 4, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    I'm not really sure if you are supporting the worst of the bowlers of this kind McGrath or opposing him. I'd even go to extent of saying Mcgrath wouldn't be half the bowler he now is, if he kept his mouth shut. That guy is the scum of the lowest order to have ever bowled on a cricketing field.

    What Sreesanth does is nothing compared to what that guy did. The only mistake on Sreesanth's part is he is animated and shows it to the world that he is doing this while Mcgrath did it without showing any emotion.

    If someone really demeans you and your family and still keeps a smiling face, let's see how you react. After all Sreesanth is a young guy facing all this rubbish.

    For all I care, Aussies should have been barred from playing the game (if it were ever so gentlemanly) long time back. The fact that they are still playing and doing so in their terms says a lot about the managers of the game and commentators like you.