Video: Mitchell Johnson sledges VVS Laxman; Laxman gives it back
VVS Laxman was more than ready for a fight as Mitchell Johnson persisted with his verbal volleys.
Australia are currently taking on their age-old rivals England in the Ashes Test series and if there’s any other country that can stake claim to giving a fierce competition to the Aussies, it is India. And one man in particular, had been a constant thorn in their flesh – VVS Laxman.
The stylish Hyderabadi batsman always reserved his best for the team from Down Under and it was no different when they came visiting India for a four-match Test series towards the end of 2008.
Coming to the third Test of the series at Delhi, Australia were trailing 1-0. Laxman had played a crucial innings to save the 1st Test match for India and he produced an equally brilliant double century in the 1st innings here to help build a mammoth total for his team which all but erased any hopes of an Australian victory.
Australians hate losing and more often than not their frustrations give way to sledging and no, I am not talking about a friendly banter. And in Mitchell Johnson, they have one cricketer who is certainly well known for his on-field talking – ask Virat Kohli – as much as his wicket-taking skills.
He certainly managed to get under the skin of the usually cool Laxman in the second innings. With the match heading to a drab draw, Laxman was more than happy to fend off Johnson’s fiery deliveries.
Not able to find any success with the ball, Johnson decided to walk up to Laxman to fire some verbal volleys. He tried to ignore it at first, but when the talking continued for the next three deliveries, an incensed Laxman decided to give it back to the bowler and in the end, the umpires Aleem Dar and Billy Bowden had to step in and cool things down by talking to the Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
Johnson managed to enrage more than one Indian by his actions – Sunil Gavaskar was furious in the commentator’s box and didn’t hold back his thoughts on the matter.
“Why should foul language be accepted on the cricket field? It’s got to be nipped in the bud,” a furious Gavaskar said.