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Having said that, can I now say this? All teams have front-running sledgers. Call it "scoreboard, pal" syndrome. You look like a dick if you sledge when you are getting beaten.

Professor Rosseforp

Maybe sledging had nothing to do with it.
Maybe it had something to do with pitches that gave nothing to the bowlers. English batsmen took advantage of it, and Australian batsmen didn't. I think we can draw a lot of conclusions about batting from the first 2 tests, and almost nothing about the bowling (from either side). A better pitch in the 3rd test meant that bowlers and batsmen were rewarded for effort.


I dunno about always being front running sledgers. There have been times in the past (most notably against India) where other sides have challenged us and we've responded with massive outbursts. Warne & Hughes v South Africa, Slater v India, McGrath v West Indies etc.

Having said that it's a bit simplistic to put down the art of sledging to a national trait. Some players do, others don't from all countries. You'll get some blokes who have bowled someone neck and crop and not say a word whereas others will neck up even after getting smashed to the boundary.

The Aussies have just had one or two (or eight or nine) really good notable sledgers in their recent sides thats all.


Adsy, I reckon those instances are less sledges and more dummy spits.


Agreed Tony. Note that most of the famous incidents occurred when a good team was being rolled: Haynes-Healy, Ambrose-Waugh also come to mind. It is a frustration thing as much as anything. England got involved in incidents in Perth because they expect to win, and weren't.

My take:
As a rule, grass-root Australian cricket seems to have a lot more chat (or just plain abuse from clowns who take their sport too seriously), and that percolates up to the national side. It has only been the past 20 or so years that we've noticed it going on though, notably because former players like to big-note how clever the one funny thing they said in a 15 year career was in execrable autobiographies.

Other nations, that don't tend to chat as much, have occasionally attempted to copy (parody?) the so-called Australian method in ways that have been at turns, amusing and disgraceful. Though as Adsy notes, there have always been non-conformists, and variations on what is accepted. The West Indies bowlers tended to let their slips sledge on their behalf.

McGrath, incidentally, was terrible at sledging. When he was young there were numerous articles written about the way his on-field abuse correlated with him also bowling complete rubbish. Conversely, Viv Richards played his entire career with a monumental chip on his shoulder, and (like Steve Waugh) went out of his way to find someone to tussle with to keep the adrenaline going. Only an idiot would think there is some value in playing your own game differently in order to play theirs.

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