India-Australia series brought not only thrill in the field of play, but also the in fight or the sledging between the two top teams assume greater importance. Team India enjoy the home atmosphere and the homely conditions to emerge victorious by adopting Indian Rope Trick, which is not liked by teams like Australia. The scene is set for a final fling at Dharamshala and we expect less entertaining cricket and more actions on the field. ICC match referee should be able to take a correct call on such ticklish allegations and counter allegations. To fuel to the fire the DRS is taking its own twists and turn to make the movement more exhilaration and enthralling to media and the TV viewers. The glorious game of uncertainities will continue to happen and the amount of sledging will also go along with the game for a longer time.
Now, the pertinent question comes into our minds is that the fear of losing really the mother of sledging? Australians were winning against us at home and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is evenly placed. By chance if the series ends in a draw, Smith will retain the trophy and the series rubber will go down under. But now we witness eye to eye contact and throwing of ball in anger to the keeper or the ball banged on the turn to show the resentment and that is not in good taste. The DRS decision was blown out of proportion and the ultimate draw ensured that both the teams had the share of luck but in the end tame draw resulted at Ranchi to make the contest more interesting.
Gentleman’s game of cricket is suffering in the hands of both players and the captains of the participating sides and it is time to apply disciplinary action rule recently introduced to silence these controversial cricketers. Look at the 1960-61 tie test series between Australia and the West Indies. Test matches were competitive those days and there were controversial decisions as well. But at the end of the series, the trophy was handed over to the Australian captain Richie Benaud and the then West Indies captain Frank Worrell did gave a last minute shine to the cup before it being handed over to the winning team. Now we rarely get to see such a sight in a cricket field after a fierce battle of exchanges to show the wrath on and off the field to give fillip to the enmity between the two sides and the media just add their midas touch to make it more memorable. Most famous Glenn McGrath-Ramnaresh Sarwan rivalry saw the ugly side of cricket.
It is time to play for a win and not to show the arrogant attitude all the time when the going is not good. It is time to punish the erring member for on field conflicts exceeding the limit and bringing disrepute to the game in front of the paying public. After all winning and losing are part and parcel of the game. Losing cool is just losing the reputation of the country for which he is representing and take the credit of the win also in the process. The fear of losing should not come at any time and the game should be played with sporting spirit at the time of adversity as well. Brain Lara used to walk when a dubious decision is questioned to an umpire but expecting such an attitude from an Indian or an Australian player is too much for the asking. It is an open secret that the Australian cricketers are champions of sledging. But we should not follow suit to act in a unsporting way against the rules of the game and caught in the camera for showing resentment in the name of aggression. At the end of the day a team wins or loses as per skill and not with those antics.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)