Faulkner needles West Indies ahead of crunch game
There is already some history between the Australians and Chris Gayle from last year, and James Faulkner's comments ahead of his side's World T20 clash with West Indies has only revived those feelings. Faulkner has said he does not "particularly like" the West Indies players, to which Darren Sammy has replied that the Australia allrounder is probably the only cricketer who does not like the men from the Caribbean.
In his debut series early last year, Faulkner was fined a part of his match fee for shouting in Gayle's direction after dismissing the batsman in Canberra. Faulkner suggested he would not hesitate to do something similar if it helped Australia in what is almost a must-win game for both sides.
"I don't particularly like them," Faulkner said. "Good players are good players. You have to do things to get under their skin and try and irritate them to try and get them off their game. Players do that to me and I do it to other players. It's a fact of the game. A lot of it is played in your mind. If you can do something to upset somebody and upset their team, it goes a long way towards doing well as a group."
Even Brad Haddin and Gayle had had a run-in last year during the Big Bash. When Haddin was dismissed by Gayle, Haddin said that at least then the fans of Gayle's franchise had seen him do something for his money. Gayle had been having a poor tournament with the bat for Sydney Thunder. Gayle had responded with a tweet saying that he was better than Haddin even if he batted right-handed.
When asked whether this background would be added motivation for his team, Sammy pointed to West Indies' big win over Australia in the 2012 World T20 semi-final, and said that if anyone had bragging rights, it was his team.
"The Australians normally have a lot to say. We are here to play cricket. I think probably James is the only cricketer that does not love West Indians. I could safely say West Indies are the second favourite team for the fans. It does not bother us. Talk is talk. We have got to walk the talk out there on the cricket field. He can say all he wants. We are not bothered by it.
"I think the last time we played them in a World Cup we all know what happened. If anybody should be talking probably we should, but I do not want to say that. Once we back ourselves and play like we know how to play T20... they will come with their pace attack. Last time they did that we scored 200 I think.
"We are not threatened by them. It is another game of cricket. Once we play to our full potential... so far in this tournament we have not played to our full potential. Once we do that, we will be very destructive. We were destructive in that semi-final last World Cup."
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo