Now Gambhir is on the “hate-list”

Question: What do Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sree Santh, Robin Uthappa and now, Gautam Gambhir have in common? (And let us not forget Manoj Prabhakar).

Answer: Local Australian media use adjectives such as “controversial”, “offensive”, “serial offender”, “street-fighter”, “combative” or such normally-pejorative descriptions as a prefix to their names in media reports!

Meanwhile, Merv Hughes (he who spat), Glen McGrath (he who wanted to slit an opposition players’ throat), Steve Waugh (he who coined the term “mental disintegration”), Ricky Ponting (he who had a black eye in a bar brawl), Matthew Hayden (he of “obnoxious weed” fame), et al are prefixed with words such as “saint”, “great”, “former great”, “competitive”, “battler” or “legend”!

One might think that there is something amiss here.

But no! I think the real answer lies in a fear that these new-age Indians have mimicked what the Australians have been doing for 10 years or more. What’s more? Unlike the Fab Five and others before them, this new lot are giving it back as good as they get and are doing it just that little bit better by getting completely under the collective skins of the Australians! No wonder the media lot in Australia are so irked.

The day is not far off, I feel, when the likes of Malcolm Conn will start moving the ICC to stamp out the scourge of sledging from the game!

I do feel that these new-age Indians have a fair bit to go in their studies though! They need to learn (a) to get under the radar, (b) the art of cheap theatrics. They have to learn the art of sledging surreptitiously so that they fall under the radar of the Match Referee. They also need to go to a third-grade Bollywood acting school (or talk to any soccer player) so that the moment they are touched or sledged, they roll about on the floor, flail their arms and go into seizures as though they have been felled by a tornado. They just need to look at a replay of Shane Watson in Delhi or Matthew Hayden at Mohali!

Soon, the Match Referee will start using placative phrases like “you do not want to curb natural aggression in the game” when the Indians sledge too.

But more seriously, I do believe that the Australians can’t stomach the fact that these new-age Indians are giving it back. Nick McCardle and Mark Waugh, the Foxtel TV anchors, asked Alan Border and Brendan Julian, with a fair bit of incredulousness at the post-match interview about the niggle on the field in a manner that suggested that Australia had to have sole ownership of that property!

I do believe that Australian media struggles to accept that the Indians can give back — and even initiate it. More power to the Indians. I personally would like sledging to be stamped out of the game completely — and have written on this before, lest someone accuses me of a “Conn Job”! However, I also believe that a person who throws a stone in an open drain must expect his clothes to get soiled. There are no rules here. I do not believe in either ‘lines’ or ‘sand’ in this game. If you belong to the mafia expect the head of a horse on your doorstep! Simple! You make a choice.

It is time for the Australian media to accept players like Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sree Santh, Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, et al (the new India players) as nothing other than good old “Aussie Battlers”. Not that these players are the first “Aussie Battlers” either! Players like Arjuna Ranatunga and Javed Miandad come to mind immediately! If these guys played for Australia, they would be celebrated as players who fought for their country with pride and didn’t give an inch on the field. Instead, what we have is this constant denigration through banal sequence of inflammatory adjectives by the media!

Having said all of this, I fully expect Gautam Gambhir to be hauled before the match referee. I expect him to even receive a hefty fine or a suspended sentence. However, if he does get docked, it would not be because of his folly, but because he wasn’t clever enough in his retort to Shane Watson!

Surely, that statement is a travesty in itself and makes a mockery of the game and its proud traditions!

— Mohan

51 responses to “Now Gambhir is on the “hate-list”

  1. As I watched NickMc and Junior go all apoplectic and a-gasp for breath at the temerity of the upstart Gam-beer for a retaliatory elbow in Watto’s six-pack…I thought, there can’t be a better explanation of ‘karma’ for those struggling with the concept.


  2. I can’t recall an occassion when an Australian player actually elbowed an opposition player. But your attidue is hardly surprising.

  3. @JB

    Nor do I recall any player spitting at another or threatening to chop another players’ head off.

    But my point wasn’t that, although it is hardly surprising that you missed the point — again!

  4. So physical reactions are fine? It’s on par with a sledge?

    ” However, if he does get docked, it would not be because of his folly, but because he wasn’t clever enough in his retort to Shane Watson!”

    No if he gets docked it’s because he did the wrong thing. End of – no excuse.

  5. chris hutchinson


    ‘Tis you who miss the point Mohan.

    To constantly site the media when it suits your cause is fine. To ignore it when it doesnt is fine too.

    The bottom line is. You have been crying about this for soooo long and now you celebrate the metaphoric Indian battler. More power to them too I say.

    But get off the fence and save your each ways for Melbourne Cup day.

    With one breath it’s “I personally would like to see all sledging banned”.

    Then with the next it’s “Ohhh, you’ve been doing it for years now it’s our turn”.

    Stop blaming the Australian media for reporting on the game the way it sees it!

    Keep in mind the Australian media that does the barracking as you say so regularly is the same one that tries to “kill” it when they see an opportunity to ride on the wave of minor public opinion if it means papers sold.

  6. Chis – well said.

  7. @Mohan

    Great post. The day ‘The Australian’ hires you, I will know that Aussies are able to open their arms to opposing views. I know that Australians and Englishmen write in Indian newspapers and Indian media commentary always has media people from Australia, England, etc. I am yet to see and Indian featured regularly on Channel-9.

    Until then, Indians can claim the higher-moral ground on this issue. Australian cricket media is “closed” shop and this leads to several of their fans thinking that there is no other way but the Aussie way.


    Yes, it is true that this blog has been saying “ban sledging” and “celebrate sledgers”. I find that a bit puzzling. However, just as it was necessary for Gandhi and his cohorts to take extreme (and sometimes unpleasant) measures to gain independence, a revolution is necessary to be celebrated before normalcy is restored.

    Normalcy will probably be restored with Malcolm Conn starts deploring sledging!

  8. @Raghuram:

    I don’t believe I write well enough for The Australian. I am glad you like what/how we write here though. Thanks.

    Raghuram sketches my thoughts on the two-way-bet reasonably accurately, albeit quite colourfuly. I admit that I have indulged in both, the “deplore sledging” and “celebrate Indian sledgers” bifurcation. This can be quite puzzling. I admit.

    Although I do not buy the “Freedom from the Raj” analogy that he uses, I think Raghuram has captured the essence of my take on this topic.

    What I would like to see is the day the people that mimic get so much better than the “inventors” that the original inventors start to seek to implement new “standards” and “controls” in a protectionist sense.

    In that limited sense, perhaps Raghurams’ mutiny/revolution analogy is apt, although a wee-bit over-dramatic for my liking!

    My method is simple: The moment I see a halo, my gloves are not far away!

  9. @Chris and JB: I think the question is more about Australians getting miffed when they are being given the stuff that they have regularly dished out. Also the hypocrisy in the coverage given to any kind of sledging or gamesmanship by the Indians versus the Aussies.

    Suppose the Watson incident replayed, except with Matt Hayden elbowing Ishant Sharma, here is what Conn’s take on it would read like

    Having copped a verbal barrage all day from the frustrated Indian bowlers and close-in fielders, matters reached a boiling point when Sharma – in a blatant contravention of the spirit of the game – blocked Hayden on his way to the first of an easy two runs. In response, Hayden nudged Sharma with his elbow on his way back, a gentle reminder to the young speedster that it was the burly Queensland who held the upper hand at that stage of the game.

  10. Phew BongPondit! That was a master-stroke. Well said. I hope Conn checks into this blog! He could take some tips from you! That paragraph was snapped right from the Conn-desk and showed Conn-tinuous, Conn-voluted Conn-sistent excellence from you. Conn-gratulations!

  11. Bongo,

    Watson is entitled to stand his ground and make the batsman run around as was Katich.

    To support any physical behaviour on the field is completely inappropriate. We have never dished that out.


  12. @JB

    Pssst! It wasn’t what happened, but how it is reported that we are talking about. Duh!

  13. @JB: And did you not see Watson stick his hand out ? He is entitled to that was well ? What would you have said if Watson’s hand touched Gambhir on that first run ? Part of the game ?

    I do not condone Gambhir elbowing Watson purposefully, but I am just pointing out the hypocrisy of most Aussies and how they would have viewed the same action perpetrated by their player.

  14. @mohan: Thanks !

    Reading Conn everyday during smokos has its effects 🙂

  15. Ok. I am glad that you have a Conn-venient Conn-duit for your frustrations after all!

  16. Australians are Just Sore Loooooooooooosers.

    Katich and Watson looked like helpless 3 yr olds whose candies have been snatched..


  17. Mohan,

    Ah yes, I see your subtle distinction. What happened has nothing to do with the reporting of it!

    You are as smart as you are handsome.

    Hey, your conflict resolution skills are awesome. Have you ever considered a job at the UN?


  18. @JB, as usual you have lost me! At least you have Conn-sistency on your side!

  19. It’s not difficult.

  20. @JB: ad-hominem ! Well played 🙂

  21. Thanks Bongo! 🙂

  22. Pingback: In which I am Conn-ed « Recurring Decimals…..

  23. chris hutchinson

    @ Mohan,,

    Please forgive me. Can you explain the reference to gloves re the halo?

    I am lost on that?

    I regard myself as reasonably intelligent. But some of your blogging is cryptic. …. and I am at best lateral in thinking!


    Dont associate Australians with The Australian!

    Secondly. The media is the media. Not Australians.

    Did anyone hear Robert “I tipped this” Craddock on SEN this morning.

    He has been predicting the demise of the Australian cricket side for so long now, I am not sure when he started. I think as soon as the first Waugh left.

    He’s big on India because he can see where his bread is buttered (or going to be).

    His obsession with the IPL and how it will (has) revolutionis India’s cricketing ability (ludicrous) . They’ve been this good for years.

    Politics and karma will keep India right where it is. Unable to handle anything moving side ways off the deck.

  24. @chris

    You said, “Politics and karma will keep India right where it is. Unable to handle anything moving side ways off the deck.”

    Hmmm! Leeds. Adelaide. Perth. Mohali!

    Case closed. Time to get off that time-warp machine chris. Just look at the Mohali deck, in case Perth is too painful a memory.

  25. Guys you are being unfair on Shane Watson. He wasn’t over-dramatising or indulging in cheap-theatrics there! Watson gets injured and breaks down even when the wind speed picks up! So the elbow feather touch from Gambhir would have hurt the poor lad. It is a wonder he didn’t fall down in a heap! I have given up on this Australian team. The fall from grace has been swifter than anticipated.

  26. Srikanth Mangalam

    India should consider an India A team to make it a tri-series and thereby a little more challenging!!!
    Didn’t the Aussies do the same with the B&H series or whatever they call it now?

  27. @ Raghuram

    Not too long ago channel 9 used to employ at least 1 commentator from the opposing country. in 1991-92, that pillar of ballanced comment Sunil Gavaskar was on the ch9 roster. Aslo D Gower, M Holding and T Cozier have been regulars.

    @ Mohan

    You are becoming increasingly more paranoid in your comments. You have been taking lessons from Sunny G. “The whole world is against Asians and Indians in particular!!!!!”

    Please start watching these games with a balanced view. Sure M Hughes, and G McGrath were not saints, but that doesn’t excuse Gambhir from deliberately raising an elbow into an opponent. I know you have said it is not about the incident but the reporting of it, then why don’t you report on the incident and condemn Gambhir like you would condemn an Australian?

    If you want the Australian media to act in a fair and unbiased way, then why don’t you? Sorry that’s right bloggers don’t need to practice what they preach…

  28. @Raghuram

    Sorry and I forgot the ABC generally always has an overseas braodcaster working with them. Harsha is a hit on Aussie airwaves!!!

  29. Pingback: India Vs Australia :: Test 3 :: Delhi :: Day-2 « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  30. @Chris: “Dont associate Australians with The Australian!”

    I don’t think it was anyone’s contention. Plenty of Aussies I know who take an even-handed view. Also, the visual news media is generally more balanced in their coverage.

    The demise of Australian cricket IMHO is vastly exaggerated. They have had a perfect storm of troubles with injuries, retirements, dips in form, plus a motivated opponent playing really well, all hurled at them together. The domestic set-up in Oz is still too good; so I dont see a West Indies like slump anytime soon.
    They should win the home series against NZ and SAF.

  31. @JB

    “To support any physical behaviour on the field is completely inappropriate. We have never dished that out.”

    Maybe you forgot Mcgill shoving off Sarwan during Adelaide Test 2000-01 after being given out.

  32. @Andrew

    Yes, Ch-9 used to have Sunil Gavaskar commenting in 1991-92! That’s the point. I don’t know when you checked the calendar last, but I’ll remind you that it is 2008 now!

  33. I do not condone Gambhir’s actions. He must be punished. But its high time for Aussies to come off their high horse.

  34. Nik,

    Sorry I did forget that. Apparently the same thing happened in 1876!

    Could you tell me what happened to McGill in that instance?


  35. JB,
    Of course no action taken. Can there be any doubt abt that?

    Maybe you also forgot the infamous Lillee-Miandad incident.

  36. Haven’t forgotten about it, but thought dragging up things from well over 20 years ago might be pushing the boundaries of relevance.

  37. I think I have found the incident you refer to with MacGill.

    He appologised and was warned but no penalty as both players had sorted out their differences. According to the report I found anyway.

    If that happens in this case, no issue from me. But at the moment Gambhir says it was an accident. I can’t see how this is an honest statement from Gambhir.

  38. I agree it was not an accident. I have already said he must be fined.

    Lillee-Miandad incident was just to show Aussies have dished it as well and I think it is quite relevant.

  39. Pingback: India Vs Australia :: Test 3 :: Delhi :: Day-2 «

  40. michael clarke can bring sachin(send odi final) down…..that will be tackle…when gambhir nudges someone, that will fall under bullying tactics.

  41. Nik,

    If you think that the Lillee-Miandad incident is relevent, you have serious issues in being able to move on!

    How about the line of thinking that the aggressive Australians mentality was formed in Bodyline?


  42. JB,

    I used Lillee-Miandad incident to counter your claim that “We have NEVER dished that out” and hence it is relevant to the argument.

    If by never you meant the last decade, then you should have worded your claim differently.

    I am no issues in moving on.

  43. Nik,

    Consider us “moved on”.



  44. the Aussies have always been frail, sore losers. Its just that it has never shown through the past decade because they just kept winning.

  45. @ Shaaaks

    And from the tone of the posts on this blog Indians don’t seem to know how to win with dignity…

  46. @Andrew Kumar

    Hmmm! Let’s define “dignity” here shall we? Like how the Australians won in Sydney perhaps? With all the carry-on and the jumping-around like pork chops? Hard-nosed Aussie friends of mine were disgusted by that.

    So why don’t we celebrate like the Australians did in Sydney then shall we?

    And talking of “dignity” weren’t you the pillock that talked about retiring off the Fab Four geriatrics and getting their loved ones to cart them around the field on wheelchairs?

    And you have the gall to talk about dignity?

    If you weren’t cut from cloth that I know very well, I’d call you an absolute shame and a disgrace Andrew Kumar! I shall refrain now… I’d appreciate a contrite comment back from you. But I won’t be surprised if none is forthcoming!

    — Mohan

  47. Pingback: Watson charged, Gambhir will be! « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  48. Pingback: Watson charged, Gambhir will be! |

  49. I like the tone of that reply mohan… it took me a while but it’s making me laugh now!!

  50. Pingback: Adjective watch: “Recalcitrant Gambhir” « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  51. Pingback: Adjective watch: “Recalcitrant Gambhir” |

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