So Australia and India are embroiled in a spat all about Australia’s favourite tactic: on-field aggression. The Indians claim Ricky Ponting’s team have been using “harsh words” to their batsmen, while Australia suggest that India have misinterpreted “what aggressive cricket means”.
I can’t help feel this has been blown out of all proportion – by both parties. Australia are renowned for their tough-talking bullshit on the field of play, and equally famous for not being able to take it themselves. Remember England in the Ashes in 2005? Simon Jones flinging the ball into Matthew Hayden; Paul Collingwood, and others, shouldering up to an incensed Hayden. The bullies are always the biggest of cowards.
But I’m on Australia’s side for once, and not out of sympathy owing to their utter humiliation by England today in the Rugby World Cup (yeehaw!). India: for God’s sake, grow up and get on with it. If the nasty Australians really get out of hand, there are enough stump mics and cameras to witness the event. There’s a sense that India are appealing to the world, that somehow they are being victimised by Australia. Australia do this to every other team and although it occasionally boils over, it’s just part of their game.
It doesn’t always work for other teams though. India should just forget about trying to out-sledge them – it is not working.