Cricket is a gentlemen’s game in every proportion. This game is known to have a reputation of decency and sportsman spirit. This spirit of the game does not mean to just respect your opponent or abiding by the laws of the game. This spirit has a much broader spectrum and it might appear a paradox that sledging is also one of the colors of the rainbow called the spirit of cricket, but actually it is. And for the starters, sledging is just an attempt at shattering the concentration of you opponents by having a word or two with him or teasing him with a bit of a verbosity. There are number of players who are maestro at doing this art and it would be interesting to go through each of them.
Dale Steyn is currently the best fast bowler in the world and his numbers are a clear manifestation of that. He has proved his bowling credentials on almost every cricketing surface in the world. This man always had a spring in his stride. Full of energy and passion with a quick run up, he is a spectator’s delight. Always charged up to have few words with the batsman and this technique has earned him a number of scalps. His anger, hostility and aggression have cause nightmares for a number of batsmen and they would never advise you to have verbal brawls with Dale Steyn.
This strong and massively built man from Caribbean is a personification of power hitting and is renowned for hitting towering sixes. But apart from being muscular and charismatic, this man has immense fire in the belly to keep bowler in his place, not just with his batting but also with his loquacious nature. And this garrulous character has something more to offer with the ball as he is constantly looking to get into the batsman’s skin, which is understandable given that he is not very express in pace so obviously he has to have something else in his armory to outfox the batsman.
Javed Miandad is a man remembered for his real fighting spirit and street smartness. Well we all know that normally it’s the bowlers who are in constant pursuit of dismantling the batsmen’s concentration by having a chat with them on the field. But Javed Miandad didn’t approve of this notion. He was perhaps the only batsman who used to sledge bowlers. He was never shy of having a chat with the bowlers regardless of their nerve rattling pace. Not only this, he was equally irritating for the opposition when he was fielding near the batsman. He was perhaps the only batsman of 80’s who could stand his ground in front of ferocious Dennis Lille. Also his banter with Dillip Joshi and Karan More are very popular and entertaining.
If you thought that sledging is a trait associated merely with fast bowlers, then you are heavily mistaken as this wizard from Victoria changed the paradigm of spin bowling. It was this man who rectified the status of a spinner in cricket. And he was able to do this not just with his artistic bowling but also with the way he used to play with the batsmen’s mind by being in continuous conversation with them. He would always bully the batsman in order to entice him to play the bigger shots, which in many cases turned out to be the fatal mistake for the batsmen.
Traditionally, the Indian batsmen have been told in academies and nurseries to score runs and keep their heads down. And this trait was clearly visible in the methodology of the legendary Indian batsmen like Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. But this guy called Virat Kohli from New Delhi seems to have a coaching manual of his own and he is very voluble on the field. He is always looking for the opportunity to snub the bowler not just with his bat but also with his mouth. Having scored heaps of runs in all the formats and this aggressive nature has earned him massive number of fans all around the world.
It is famously said that Australians invented the sledging and it can be safely said that they are leading this art in modern day cricket as well. A country that is known to have a never ending list of people known for sledging like Rodney Marsh, Merv Hughes and Dennis Lillie, can still brag about the fact that it has ample amount of arsenal left in the form of David Warner. He is known for his bold and audacious batting style but even more attractive faction of his personality is his ability to take the bull by the horns. He is always looking to get into the opponent’s skin and with his words and actions.
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Sledging doesn’t happen only on the field. Cricket happens to be a game where off the field things are as fascinating as on filed drama. Commentary is one of the interesting elements of the cricket and most of the commentators happen to be ex cricketers. And very often the on field banters among players continue of the field. We all know the great talking machine called Navjot Sing Sidhu. He is famous for his poetic lines and idiomatic phrases in the commentary. But an even more interesting element of his commentary is the way he takes with the other commentators on the point of difference and he is never shy of letting his voice heard regardless of which country he is commentating in.
Faulkner is a courageous and whole hearted cricketer who loves to give his 100 percent on the field with both bat and ball. A true fighter indeed with great all round abilities. He will be remembered for his man of the match performance in the final of 2015 world cup. He is equally competent in letting his opponent know that he means business and is never afraid of facing the music. He has joshed with Virat Kohli on numerous occasions and also involved in few other banters with West Indians. A completely dynamic individual with great skills is obviously what we all want to see.
People may argue about his bowling abilities or off the field discipline activities but there is no shadow of doubt about the fact that this man was an absolute character on the field, be it his celebration after picking up wickets or his attitude towards the batsman. He was always eager to get rid of the batsman and that too with some chit chat prior to that. At times he would show the batsman the way towards dressing room and occasionally would beat the pitch after shattering the stumps of the batsman. And more importantly, he is also known for his dance moves after picking up a wicket.
Andre Nell was a tall fast bowler from South Africa, even though not as fast as Dale Steyn but equally dynamic and courageous and equally aggressive. He always made his presence felt on the field due to his stylish bowling action and long follow through. At times he might end up close to the batsman in his follow through, just telling him that he is sitting duck and would be back in the change room in few deliveries. But all in all, he was a sight that every cricket fan loved and wanted to emulate.