October 29, 2021 10:18:09 pm
Former Australia skipper Greg Chappell says World Test Champions New Zealand have shown that a team doesn’t need to resort to sledging to achieve success in international cricket.
“New Zealand, now the reigning world champions of Test cricket, have proven beyond any doubt that it just isn’t something you need in your armoury to succeed,” Chappell wrote in his book ‘Not Out’, the extracts of which were published in Age.com.
“In many ways, the type of cricket played by Kane Williamson’s team — sound batting with proactive running between the wickets, sharp fielding and precision bowling with a combination of speed, bounce, swing and seam – is the kind Australia made their own over many generations before sledging emerged as a tactical weapon.”
Chappell’s words were in context of the sledging culture which became a big issue in Australian cricket, something which blew up after the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
“While this sort of thing was occasionally seen under Allan Border and Mark Taylor, in Steve’s time it became acceptable to stand there and harangue an opposition player as a commonplace tactic,” Chappell wrote.
“Over succeeding generations it went from a necessity to something like a badge of honour to be able to get up the opposition’s nose faster than they could get up ours.”
“There was a period leading up to Cape Town where quite a few of us had the same feeling. We couldn’t tell you what the problem or the blow-up was going to be, but we knew that something ominous was around the corner.”
Chappell emphathised with Australian batter Steve Smith, who was banned for a year by cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
“I had a huge degree of empathy for Steve. Just as he had his meltdown in South Africa, I had mine at the MCG in 1981. I didn’t see it coming, and I don’t know if anyone sees it coming. I didn’t realise until that day just how strung out I was. And I don’t think anyone around me knew it,” he wrote.
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