Geoff Marsh, the former Australian opener who now coaches Zimbabwe, disagreed with Sunil Gavaskar's assessment that Australia's on-field behaviour was harming cricket, going to the extent of saying that his Zimbabwe team looked forward to some sledging when they tour Australia later this year.

Marsh said that the problem had been blown out of proportion by intrusive TV cameras. "Unfortunately, the Australian cricket team are so big that every move they make the cameras are there because nobody can write anything bad about them, because they keep on winning," he said. "They are always looking for an angle to get at the guys but I have played against those guys, and coached most of them, and I don't see it as a problem."

Asked how his team would cope with the Australian tactics of "mental disintegration", Marsh said, "It will be tough for young players, but they will not take a backward step, no Zimbabwean player takes a backward step, and they will be in there competing hard, they want to get sledged by McGrath. They actually want to be in the hot seat and the firing line and do well."

He didn't believe that Gavaskar's comments would have the slightest effect on the manner in which Steve Waugh's Australian side approached their cricket. "It is a tough game, Test cricket, and occasionally people say things, but that has been going on for years," he said.