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When Shastri sledged the Aussies...

April 19, 2020 10:12 IST

Rajneesh Gupta picks fun sledging through the decades.

Image: Ravi Shastri in action. Photograph: Adrian Murrell/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

Ravi Shastri v Mike Whitney

During India's tour of Australia in 1991/1992 Ravi Shastri was batting when Australia's 12th man Mike Whitney was called on as a substitute fielder.

Shastri tried to pinch a quick single to Whitney at mid-off who yelled out, 'If you leave your crease I will break your f***ing head.'

Without flinching, Shastri replied, 'Hey! If you could bat or bowl as well as you could talk, you wouldn't be f***ing twelfth man!'


Merv Hughes v Robin Smith

Hughes: 'It's four years since I bowled to you and you haven't improved.'

Smith hits Hughes for four.

Smith: 'Neither have you.'


IMAGE: Glenn McGrath exchanges words with Sachin Tendulkar during the second ODI in Pune on March 28, 2001. Photograph: Hamish Blair/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

Glenn McGrath v Eddo Brandes

Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath was bowling to Eddo Brandes who hardly had any batting skills.

Brandes was unable to get his bat anywhere near the ball, but survived somehow.

McGrath, frustrated that Brandes was still at the crease, wandered up during one particular over and inquired: 'Eddo, why are you so fat?'

Brandes promptly replied: 'Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit.'

Even the Aussie slip fielders succumbed to outbursts of laughter.

IMAGE: Eddo Brandes celebrates victory with Grant Flower during Zimbabwe's win over England at Albury in Australia. Photograph: Ben Radford/Getty Images

Ian Healy v Arjuna Ranatunga

IMAGE: Ian Healy and Arjuna Ranatunga involved in a heated exchange in the 1996 World Cup final.

In a one-dayer between Australia and Sri Lanka, Ranatunga complained of injury and requested a runner.

The stump microphone then picked up the following sledge from Healy: 'You don't get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c**t.'


James Ormond v Mark Waugh

Ormond did not have a very successful career, but he truly came out on the top of this war.

When Ormond came out to bat in his debut Test at the Oval in 2001, he was greeted by Mark Waugh.

Mark: 'Look, who it is. Mate, what are you doing out here, there's no way you're good enough to play for England.'

James: 'Maybe not, but at least I'm the best player in my family!'


Steve Waugh v Jamie Siddons

The Older Waugh, Steve, gave it as good as he batted too.

Once, during a game in Australia, Steve was taking his time before facing his first delivery when he came in to bat.

This prompted the following exchange between him and Jamie Siddons:

Siddons: 'For goodness sake, it's not a Test match!!'

Waugh: 'Of course it's not, you are here...'


Steve Waugh v Parthiv Patel

IMAGE: Steve Waugh hits a four while Rahul Dravid and Parthiv Patel look on. Photograph: Darren England/Getty Images

Waugh once let loose on Parthiv Patel.

During the 2003/2004 Australia versus India series, which was Waugh's last Test series, the following happened in the final Test:

Patel: 'Let's see if you can play one of those famous slog sweeps, and miss one.'

Pat came Waugh's answer: 'Show some respect, you were in your nappies when I made my debut.'


Dropped the Cup?

Perhaps the most famous sledge in a World Cup game took place in the epic Super Six clash between Australia and South Africa in 1999.

Having lost to New Zealand and Pakistan in the group stage, Australia had their task cut out. They needed to beat South Africa to progress.

Riding on Herschelle Gibbs's 101, South Africa posted 271/7.

In reply, Australia were 48/3 when skipper Steve Waugh came to the crease and resurrected the chase.

Then came that fateful moment when on 56, Waugh clipped the ball in the air straight to Gibbs positioned at short mid-wicket.

In his haste, Gibbs dropped the ball when attempting to throw it in the air in celebration without having full control of the ball.

As he passed him, Waugh is said to have said to Gibbs: 'You have just dropped the World Cup!'

Waugh carried on to make an unbeaten 120 and sealed the victory.

In his autobiography, Waugh says he only said, 'Do you realise you've just cost your team the match?'


Darren Gough v Shane Watson

In 2005 when Australia stayed over at Lumley Castle in Durham before their clash against England at Chester-le-street, there was rumoured to be a ghost on the prowl.

The evening left Watson so spooked out that he decided to sleep on the floor of Brett Lee's room for comfort.

The England players couldn't resist mocking Watson, with Gough doing his best impression of a ghost and telling the Aussie: 'Don't worry, you can sleep in my bed tonight.'


Glenn McGrath v Michael Atherton

IMAGE: Michael Atherton looks back to see himself caught by Adam Gilchrist off Glenn McGrath's bowling. Photograph: Hamish Blair/ALLSPORT/Getty Images

McGrath: 'Athers, it would help if you got rid of the s**t at the end of your bat.'

Atherton looks at the bottom of his bat.

McGrath: 'No, mate, at the other end.'


Andrew Flintoff v Tino Best

Tino Best, never short of a word or two when bowling, fell into the England all-rounder's trap as the West Indies slumped to defeat in the first Test at Lord's in 2004.

As the West Indian prepared to face Ashley Giles, Flintoff shouted: 'Mind the windows, Tino!'

The wind-up had the desired effect. Best came charging out of his crease like a man possessed.

He took a wild swing at the ball, missed it completely and was promptly stumped by Geraint Jones.

Flintoff couldn't help but chuckle as Best trudged off to the pavilion.


Barmy Army v Mitchell Johnson

IMAGE: Members of the English Barmy Army. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The spectators too do their bit to unsettle opposing players. The Barmy Army made it their goal of targeting and unsettling Mitchell Johnson in the 2010/2011 Ashes series.

Johnson had a mixed series. He performed poorly in the first Test and was dropped for the second.

In the third Test he played a major role in Australia's big win, but returned to his wayward ways in the fourth, prompting the Barmy Army to come up with this chant: 'He bowls to the left, He bowls to the right... That Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is Sh*te!!'

In the fifth Test at the SCG, the Barmy Army sang this as Johnson walked to the crease. This worked. Johnson got a first ball duck as England went on to win the Test and retain the Ashes.

Rishabh Pant v Tim Paine

During India's tour of Australia in 2018/019 when Rishabh Pant came into bat in the Melbourne Test, knowing that Pant was not in the India team for the ODIs to follow the Tests, the Australian skipper and wicketkeeper had a go at him.

'Big MS is back in the one-day squad too, we might get him (Pant) down to the Hurricanes... we need a batter, Fancy that, Pantsy? Extend your little Aussie holiday. Beautiful town Hobart too, I'll get you a nice apartment on the waterfront.'

It was Pant's turn to take a dig when Paine came out to bat: 'We got a special guest today. Have you ever heard of a temporary captain, ever, Mayank?'