Sledging backfired on India, says Aussie coach

Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Sydney: After Matthew Hayden, now its the turn of Australian coach Tim Nielsen who believed that the sledging row in the just concluded Indo-Australian series backfired on Team India and motivated the Oz team rather than distract it.

Indian fast bowler Sreesanth, who led the verbal attack on the Aussies in order to get under the skin of the past master however, helped the Oz, according to the national coach, to win the series 4-2.

''The most pleasing thing was that we able to cop it and keep performing, whereas they weren't able to do that and we won the games because of it,'' Nielsen said.

''It was obviously a bit of a tactic and as a team we have spoken about that.'' ''If that's what they want to do that's what they want to do, and they will probably keep doing it this summer,'' he said.

The Indian team tried to take a leaf out of Australia's book with in-your-face agression during the recent Future Cup. But as Australian Opening batsman Matthew Hayden said, ''I think it (being sledged) motivates us.'' Hayden said, ''You never want an Australian with his back up against the wall because that's exactly where we want to be.

''In a way we want to get into that position because that's where we play our best cricket,'' he was quoted by Herald Sun.

Nielsen, however, was critical of the racial abuse which was hurled at Andrew Symonds and said that being subjected to monkey chants had been ''pretty tough'' for the 32-year-old all-rounder.

Praising the One-Day International Player of the Year for the year 2005, Nielsen said his man-of-the-series performance under pressure had enhanced his status in the game.

The talented South Australian wicketkeeper, who took from John Buchanan after winning the second World Cup in a row this year in West Indies, strongly urged Cricket Australia to take harsh action against any Australian fans who delivered retaliatory racial abuse to Indian or Sri Lankan players this summer.

''We just can't afford to have it because that's just not fair,'' Nielsen said.

''As a community and as a society we don't accept it so we shouldn't accept it on a cricket field either.'' Crowd behaviour will be heavily monitored this summer as both India and Sri Lanka will play Down Under.

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland, however, denied that unruly Australian supporters would have to be segregated from Indian and Sri Lankan fans.

''I don't think crowd separation is really an issue for cricket,'' Sutherland said.

''Australian fans will be in the great majority but we will take the strictest, harshest action possible against any people who offend,'' he added.


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