Home > Features >

Australia’s love for sledging is acceptable but it shouldn’t ruin spirit of the game

Australia's love for sledging is acceptable but it shouldn't ruin spirit of the game

Australia’s victory in the first Ashes 2013-14 Test against England in Brisbane at The Gabba has been overshadowed by various sledging incidents, especially the one with Michael Clarke (centre foreground) and James Anderson © Getty Images

Sledging has overpowered Australia’s hard-earned victory in the first Ashes 2013-14 Test with Michael Clarke in the spotlight. Abhijit Banare looks at the cause and why a lot of it could have been avoided.

There are some basic principles that every human tends to deal with frustration. A pressure situation is faced by each and everyone, but each has his or her own limits of absorbing the same and when that [subjective] limit is breached, the individual reacts to pressure more quickly than usual. Australia‘s sledging that overpowered their hard-earned victory in the first Ashes 2013-14 Test is something on similar lines. A win that finally arrived after 10 Tests would have certainly refreshed them. At the same time, it brought excess energy that allowed their emotions to overpower than respecting the opposition.

The entire purpose of sledging is to disturb the concentration of a batsman. And in this case we are talking about sledging James Anderson (a bowler who can hold a bat) with England needing a mountain runs, which could even get them bowled out once again if they tried. Michael Clarke‘s words (or whoever started first) made absolutely no sense as he was already on the cusp of victory. Then what really provoked Clarke to react so quickly to dish out such expletives?

That’s what this little piece started with. Having lost enough number of matches, being questioned about his competency, criticism that possibly surpassed all other previous records; the pressure had piled up on Clarke and on the fourth evening of the Test in Brisbane at The Gabba he burst out.

Sledging has often been like a dark shadow which none of the boards or the International Cricket Council (ICC) is interested in defining and often ends with a few critiquing words in the media before its back to square one. But Clarke’s words made for a great television story… Catching someone off-guard. While the atmosphere around the 22 yards is intense, as viewers, spectators or listeners we enjoy those moments. Maybe Clarke’s comments will go down in Ashes history making it for an engrossing read a few years later. But at the end of it, the entire controversy was easily avoidable.

With regards to the reaction towards sledging, it’s a simple act of provoking someone. And in the present England team, except for Kevin Pietersen, Anderson and Stuart Broad to some extent, the rest aren’t personalities who will get charged up and hurl back more comments on being sledged. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell look composed and intense in their own batting. Joe Root just burst into a laughter when the bowlers, especially Mitchell Johnson, had a go at him in the first Test. This is not one of those England teams, who will go and make over-the-top statements reacting to controversies. Their subdued approach and silence while being hounded by the media in Brisbane is an example that they prefer to keep quiet. Ultimately it takes two hands to clap and Australia need to use their words wisely and appropriately. If they end up using more of it just in the heat of the moment, the respect for their victories will reduce as it is happening now. This spoils the spirit of the game.

While it doesn’t make complete sense of coach Andy Flower to speak to his Australian counterpart Darren Lehmann, because at the end it’s a subjective issue and both teams will have their own say. However, there are boundaries which the teams need to set. Sledging will continue to be part of the game but at the end of the day, if it is being discussed more than the game, then there’s something wrong out there.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal in upcoming One-Day series

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here