Monday, July 30, 2007

England get a bit nasty

I criticised Australians heavily a while ago for being prats. I argued that their no-holds-barred approach to the game lay outside the spirit of the game. Whether it was effective was irrelevant, people had paid good money to see people play high quality cricket, and if a batsman’s concentration was disturbed by a verbal harassment then you are denying the public the full spectacle of test match cricket. It’s akin to cheating.

England’s behaviour on the field in this test match has been a disgrace. The conduct of Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson in particular was embarrassing and pathetic.

In the prats league, they are running neck-and-neck with the Aussies at the moment. However, unlike the Aussies, the strategy is proving ineffective.

Matt Prior attempted to defend England appalling display:

“It’s international cricket. It’s a hard game, we all want to win, so you’re going to have your banter.”

If you want to win, why don’t you just brain the opposition batsmen in the changing room? That would guarantee success. Oh no, there is some invisible threshold of acceptability defined not in the rules, but in England’s head.

Prior then reveals the truth of the matter:
“I do enjoy [sledging]. It’s part of the game and if you don’t enjoy it then you’re going to struggle. It’s never nice when it’s you batting and there’s 11 blokes around you giving you a barrage. It can be uncomfortable, obviously, but having known that as a batter as well it can definitely be used as an advantage.”
Matthew Prior is a prat.

Cricket is a sport, whereby winning and losing is determined by skill. These flaky arguments in favour of verbal abuse and mental attacks are affront to morality as much as the spirit of the game. And, as Christopher Martin-Jenkins pointed out, they are also illegal.

Indian have traditionally been seen as a “soft touch” on the field. Their batsmen are liable to be intimidated and riled easily. Probably because Indians, as people, are so polite, diplomatic, diffident and generally some of the best human beings in the world. Sadly, they’ve had to toughen up to combat this onslaught. And they did just that. Deflating the lary England bowlers with a solid batting performance.

India thoroughly deserve to win this match, just as much as England deserve to lose it.

3 comments:

Samir Chopra said...

Atheist:

Its interesting, everyone that sledges seems to think it gets under people's skins and puts them off their game. This is very poor understanding of human psychology at best. There is such a thing as pissing off your opponent so royally that they get determined to beat you. Why isn't this part of the package that coaches stress?

Frankly, everyone knows what the line between what is acceptable and what isn't. And all this fast-bowler nastiness is unacceptable.

And I think its pretty perceptive of you to point out that Sree Santh is one guy going off the deep-end whereas in England's case it really seemed to be part of some 'strategy' (if such a fancy term may be so used).

Cheers,
Samir

The Atheist said...

They're just bastards.

You are also right in that sledging is ineffective. Apparently, KP improves when the opposition is laying in to him. Why can't the same be true of others? Besides, sledging as a "strategy" proved useless against a solid Indian batting line-up.

What annoys me about all this business, and believe me, I am annoyed, is how distracting it is. Why not just play cricket? Better still, why not play cricket well?

On the basis of this match, I think that India deserve a series victory.

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