Allan Border, one part of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the symbol of supremacy of India vs Australia Test cricket, said last week that the forthcoming Test series is not an event that should witness heavy sledging from the mouths of his country’s cricketers.
The Aussies are still reeling after their teammate Phillip Hughes lost his life through a head injury nearly two weeks ago.
Border, one of the most influential of Australian captains, is spot on and will hopefully be taken seriously once the opening Test unfolds at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow.
Australian cricketers are certainly not the only ones who attack their opponents with plenty of verbals, but they are rated very high on this aspect and are credited for perfecting the art of sledging. To expect a quiet series would be unrealistic considering both teams are volatile, but if both sides refuse to indulge in abuse, the game of cricket will be well served. And importantly, it might just be the best tribute these teams can pay to the departed Hughes, who was never famous for sledging his opponents.
Several pundits believe that the Australians took things too far last season in a high-voltage Ashes series against the Englishmen. Doubtless, there is no place for comments like what Australia skipper Michael Clarke told England tailender James Anderson during the first Test at Brisbane last year: “Get ready to have your f***ing arm broken.”
Worse still, Shane Warne wrote in a Foreword to Clarke’s Ashes diary that, ‘this was the moment I believe Australia saw the very competitive, tough Michael Clarke I know, and accepted him as an Australian hero.”
The Hughes tragedy notwithstanding, the India vs Australia Tests this Australian summer should not lack intensity, but sledging and abuse cannot be related to entertainment. After all, cricket is very much a bat versus ball game. A little bit of banter can be understandable though and will lighten things up.
If people want to watch the action with plenty of verbals thrown around, they might as well watch WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).