Ever since the baton of the best team in International cricket was passed on to Australia by the West Indies in 1994, the Aussies have been ruthless in their approach. The Godfather of Australian cricket, Allan Border towards the end of his tenure, made the Australians the numero uno test team. While sledging and mind games have always been an Australian ploy, they sometimes crossed the line.
Mark Taylor, took the reigns from Border and with his tactful captaincy accompanied by great talent ensured the gap between the Australians and others widened. His successor Steve Waugh was blessed with an already champion side and all he had to ensure was that more of the same is continued. He did that job to perfection and if anything, made the Australian side even tougher.
It was only under Ricky Ponting that the world champions started indulging in unsportsmanlike practices quite often and their behaviour on the field changed from bad to worse. On one such occasion Ponting tried to sledge Gambhir and the Delhi southpaw gave it back with interest. Gambhir was recently asked who he enjoyed sledging the most and the Delhi MP said Ricky Ponting.
“Ricky Ponting, maybe. That was in 2008 when Anil Kumble was the captain. In the series when I got my double hundred. In the first Test match, I think it was in Bengaluru, he said something when I was batting,” the 38-year-old recalled, during a Star Sports show Cricket Connected. The Delhi batsman recalled how he gave a savage reply to the then Australian captain. “He was at silly point, and he said ‘you haven’t set the world on fire’. I said ‘Neither have you in India. To be honest, you have been a bunny’. His record says that as well, he’s been a bunny in India,” Gambhir further added.