Since the beginning of the game, cricket players have tried every strategy in the book to outplay their opponents. Some teams aim to be aggressive with the ball or the bat, while other teams use deceptive language as a psychological gimmick to intimidate their opponents.
Sledging in cricket is a topic that has divided the cricketing community. While some feel it keeps the competitive spirit alive, others think it should be completely banned from the game. Sledging is a tactic used by teams or individuals to exert pressure on the batters or bowlers of the opposition. It frequently succeeds, but it may also backfire badly, which makes for exciting television.
We examine these situations where players who were slapping each other had to retract their statements and were humiliated by their adversaries.
Virat Kohli ignites a fire in Jonny Bairstow, 2022
The fifth Test between England and India was held at Edgbaston on July 1st, 2022. As a result of centuries by Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, India scored a total of 416 runs. At 83 on the second day, half of England’s team was in the hut, making it difficult for them to respond.
Jonny Bairstow was under pressure from the Indian bowlers as he failed to make solid contact with the ball. At that point, Virat Kohli, a former captain of India, spoke with Bairstow. It seems the Indian hitter said that Bairstow was looking at everything but the ball.
The Yorkshireman, who had been having trouble up until that time, became inspired by Kohli’s comments and unleashed a vicious attack on the Indian bowlers, scoring a magnificent century in the innings. With yet another ground-breaking century, Bairstow added to India’s anguish in the second innings as he led England to the Test triumph.
Shanon Gabriel’s homophobic remark against Joe Root, 2019
Although Joe Root is one of the nicest players in cricket, many people assume that the graceful hitter will be an easy mark. The third Test match between England and West Indies in St. Lucia had the same situation. Despite the fact that England had already lost the series, they were determined to win the Test series.
Due to his prior inability to contribute with the bat, Joe Root had a difficult time during the series. When Shanon Gabriel, a West Indian pacer, questioned the right-handed hitter, “Do you prefer boys?” he used homophobic slurs. Don’t use it as an insult, Root retorted wonderfully, and the microphone caught his words. Being gay is perfectly acceptable.
At that point, the Englishman, who was batting at 24, ended up producing a fluidly constructed century, which ultimately led to England winning the game. Gabriel later issued an apology for his statements and received a four-match suspension as a result.
Australia gang up against Brian Lara, 2003
Australia has a reputation for overdoing things when playing cricket. When the Men in Yellow wanted to humiliate legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara in a Test match in 2003, they were back at it.
As Lara got to the crease with West Indies 73-3 and the all-conquering Australian team dismissed for 240 in the first innings, Matthew Hayden and Australian captain Steve Waugh welcomed him with a barrage of disparaging remarks. Waugh and the West Indian hitter got into a fight afterwards, and umpire David Shepherd had to separate them.
The southpaw played three excellent shots in retaliation to the insults, sending a clear message to the Australians. After pursuing a record 418 runs in the Test’s fourth innings, West Indies completed an incredible triumph.
Shoaib Akhtar’s spat with Harbhajan Singh, 2010
The rivalry between Pakistan and India is unlike any other; the two countries frequently participate in competitive matches on the field and never hesitate to hurl insults at one another. This was the case in 2010 when these teams squared off in a thrilling match in the Asia Cup in Dambulla.
In the game, Pakistan batted first and set India a challenging 268-run mark. In their pursuit of Pakistan’s score, the Indian squad got off to a respectable start and took control of the chase. However a minor breakdown in the midst of the innings stopped their pursuit. Harbhajan Singh hit Pakistani quick Shoaib Akhtar for a huge six in the 47th over. The traditional fast bowler response from Akhtar was to throw a pair of brutal bouncers directly at the ribcage of the Indian hitters.
After the over was done, the two players engaged in brief verbal combat. Remarkably, the Indian spinner emerged victorious when he smacked a huge six in the final over to give India a historic victory. After the victory, Harbhajan let out a yell and directed it towards the Pakistani pacer, who was seen telling the batter to finish what she was doing and leave the field.
Andrew Flintoff irks Yuvraj Singh, 2007
The 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa, where the Indian side won the inaugural competition, will live in indelible memory for the nation’s cricket supporters. Nonetheless, two Englishmen will also remember the competition, but not as fondly as the Indians.
The opening Indian batting partnership of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag gave India an explosive start after MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first against England in a must-win game during the group rounds of the competition. When Yuvraj Singh stepped up to the plate, India was in a good spot and wanted to come out on top. Yuvraj got off to a fast start against Andrew Flintoff, hitting two boundaries. The latter got into a fight with him over how the Indian hitters were hitting the ball.
The English all-remarks rounder’s infuriated the southpaw, who then let loose on a youthful Stuart Broad by pummeling him for six straight sixes in the next over. The dynamic batsman set a record for the quickest fifty in international cricket in the process, which is still in effect today.
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