The Australian team of the late 90s till 2010s was considered as the most dominant team in cricket after the West Indies team of the 70s. But there was a major distinction between the two. It is sledging. The West-indies team of the 70s were known for their performances without riling the other team while the Australians grabbed every opportunity to sledge the opposition.
The 2018 sandpaper scandal caused massive uproar not only in World Cricket but in Australia too, when Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft, and David Warner were found guilty of using the sandpaper, in an attempt to shine one side of the ball to achieve reverse swing. If we talk about the ongoing Ashes, rarely we have seen players getting into each other. While the England team fizzled out on the first day of the series and did not engage in sledging tactics, the Australians didn’t seem to involve in sledging either.
Former cricketer Glenn Mcgrath claimed that it was “a little bit too nice” between the players of the two sides. England captain Joe Root was seen taking tips from Nathan Lyon for his off-spinners. After James Anderson survived the last over spin of Steve Smith on Day 5th of Sydney test match, he was seen sharing a laugh with him.
In an interview given to the Telegraph, Pat Cummins said that the Australian side needed to town themselves a bit after the 2018 sandpaper scandal. The review by the Australian officials found that there was a belief in the team about “winning without counting the costs”.
“You have to be aware of it. From a couple of years ago it was pretty obvious the world wanted all cricket teams, particularly the Aussie cricket team, to tone it down a little bit.” Cummins told the telegraph.
See you at the Gabba : Tim Paine’s sledging to Ashwin
While Cummins may be claiming that the side felt the need of toning down after the 2018 sandpaper scandal, a fresh memory of January 2021 comes to mind when the Australians were sledging the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin when they were not able to bowl out him and Hanuma Vihari. Tim Paine became the centre of the troll when India defeated Australia at the Gabba fortress. Paine earlier sledged Ashwin “See you at the Gabba” in Sydney.