Cricket news: Look at what Shane Warne has to say about Jones’ and Giles’ inclusion in the English team for the ashes: "Duncan Fletcher has definitely got a few favourites. I think that's well-known between everybody. That's why some blokes keep coming back into the side, because they are favourites. But in Australia you need your best keeper because the ball does bounce and carry, and so I'd be very happy to see England go back to Jones and Giles."
"It's surprising that they'd go back to Jones" said Warne. "He'll be under enormous pressure. I think it's a known fact - and it's not me sledging him - that Jones is in the side more for his batting than his keeping. His keeping is steady at best and we saw him drop some crucial catches [in the last series]. You don't want to be dropping Ricky Ponting when he's on half-a-dozen in the first Test of the series, especially when you've just been brought back into the side."
Sounds quite familiar right? How many times have we seen the Aussies single out a few players from the opposition and target them with damning remarks and making uncalled for comments. Its almost getting predictable now. Just before a big series some Australian player or the other unfailingly finds something to poke fun at or provoke a player in the opposition team. The most intriguing part is that it is not always the captain or a particular player that comes up with these comments. It is more like the players taking turns – one for each match or series.
Now, to me this sounds less like a person talking his mind and more like strategic & calculated sledging. I can very well visualize the Aussie team and management seriously discussing who is going to make what comment and on whom rather than about game strategies in their official meetings. And looks like Shane has landed the job this time. And Jones and Giles are to be the victims.
Nothing wrong of course. From the way the Aussies have dominated the cricket scene, it sure does seem like the “strategy” has been quite effective. Who knows when other teams will catch on and cricket will become a war of words rather than a bat and ball game.
And remember what McGrath had said about Monty Panesar's visits to the psychiatrist? So maybe McGrath has got part of the job too. Too much additional responsibilities on professionals these days.