England all-rounder Ben Stokes recently claimed in his book that Australian opener David Warner was constantly chatting behind the stumps in the Headingley Test in 2019 Ashes and that spurred him on to score a match-winning ton.
However, Australia captain Tim Paine said there was no sledging from Warner’s part and England players resort to such tactics to spur book sales.
Sledging or not, Stokes was definitely motivated to win the Test for England and he did so in style. There have been numerous instances of sledging in world cricket, but only a few cricketers have given it back in style.
Cricwizz takes a look at a few instances when sledging has backfired on the opposition.
Yuvraj Singh vs Stuart Broad in 2007 World T20
India were cruising to a big total in the 2007 World T20 match against England. And Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were looking to make it difficult for England. If they needed further motivation to do well in the death overs, it was provided by England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who had a war of words with Yuvraj Singh just before Stuart Broad was set to begin the 19th over.
Punjab cricketer Yuvi vented all his frustration and anger on Broad’s over, hitting all his six balls for huge sixes. Flintoff was seen shrugging off his head for hurting his team’s chances by sledging India’s angry young man Yuvraj Singh.
Zaheer Khan vs England in 2007 Nottingham Test
England were up against a determined India in the Nottingham Test in 2007. England were staring at conceding a big first-innings lead and started using unethical ways to disturb Indian tailenders, mainly Zaheer Khan.
The England slip-cordon started throwing jelly beans when Zaheer was batting in the middle. Zaheer protested and a huge confrontation followed. But despite that, England players did not behave and continued throwing jelly beans.
Zaheer decided to answer with the ball, ripping through the England line-up in the second innings, taking 5 wickets, and 9 scalps overall, to bowl India to series win.
Mohammad Kaif vs England in 2002 NatWest Series final
India were down and out, losing their five wickets for 146 chasing 326 for a win in 2002 NatWest Series final. Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh then stitched a stand of 121 for the sixth wicket to take India closer towards the target.
Years later, Kaif revealed the then England skipper Nasser Hussain had called him a bus driver to sledge him and distract him. But Kaif was focussed on his task and guided India to one of their memorable wins with an unbeaten knock of 87.
Steve Waugh vs Parthiv Patel in Sydney Test
During the farewell Test of Steve Waugh in Sydney in 2004, Australia were on the backfoot while India were fighting hard for a series win. Australia had to bat through the final day to save the series. And India tails were up. But they were up against a determined Waugh who batted out of his skin to save the Test and the series.
But it was not without much drama. Indian keeper Parthiv Patel sledged Waugh in a bid to force the Australian to commit mistakes and throw away his wicket. Parthiv asked Steve to attempt his slog sweep before he calls it a day.
Steve responded, asking Parthiv to show some respect as the keeper was in his nappies when the Australian made his debut. Steve went on to score 80 to draw the Test and save the series.
Shane Warne vs Marlon Samuels
Marlon Samuels and Shane Warne have had a history of clashes before it boiled down to a one-on-one fight in 2016 World T20. It all started first when Warne and Samuels had an ugly confrontation in the 2013 Big Bash League.
In the 2016 World T20 semis, Warne, who was a commentator then, questioned Samuels’ batting after he got out cheaply against India. He said Samuels was ‘pretty poor’ and ‘embarrassing’ during the run-chase.
Later, when Samuels took Windies across the finish line with 85* off 66 balls in the final against England, the West Indian dedicated the man of the match award to Warne, stating the Australian always has had a problem with him. Samuels said it could be because his face is real, while Warne’s not. Samuels came under immediate scanner for his conduct.