Thank you Ian Healy you Just Saved My Hair
Thank you Ian Healy!
Given the way the Indian team has been playing in this series against Australia, I barely have any hair left to tear out of my already depleted skull.
The fear of the proverbial cap bursting its seams and my bottled angst gushing out like a geyser, is what has kept me away from commenting on the #IndvAus series these past weeks.
But Ian Healy has thankfully solved that problem.
I laughed until the tears ran down my eyes and I fell off the bed as I read about his rant on Melbourne radio station, SEN.
Healy said, and I quote, “The pressure is starting to tell on (Kohli). I’m losing respect for him. He’s got to be a lot more respectful of his opponents. The stuff he did with Steve Smith was unacceptable.”
Really Heals? Wow!
This from a man who once told Arjuna Ranatunga: “You don’t get a runner for being an overweight, unfit, fat c**t”.
This from a man who shouted at the back of umpteen departing batsmen: “Back to the nets, d**khead:”
This from a man who screamed at a Mike Atherton refusing to walk: ”You’re a F**king cheat.”
Of course, that came right back at his unsuspecting face from Atherton: “When in Rome, dear boy!”
To be fair, Heals had a couple of genuinely funny ones. The one he is said to have directed at his favourite Ranatunga, when the Aussies could not get him out, is a great one: “Put a Mars bar on a good length. That should do it!”
If Heals had played in the age of the excellent stump cams we have these days, posterity would indubitably have been the richer by his output.
Arguably, Rod Marsh in an earlier age was a more accomplished sledger than Heals, but he often met his match as well. His exchange with Ian Botham is the stuff of legends, where he asked: “So how’s your wife and my kids?” in an effort to throw Botham off as he came into bat. Botham’s response was a classic: “The wife is fine but the kids are retarded.”
And while I am going down memory lane, one of my favourite ones even after so many years is one where Steve Waugh is taking a long time to take his guard in a Shield game, and an exasperated Jamie Siddons quips: “For f***’s sake, mate, it’s not a f***ing Test match!”. To which Waugh replies: “Of course it’s not … You’re here.”
So when Heals starts ranting on sledging (as he did against the Kiwis a year ago as well), it is a bit rich, and perhaps a mild case of the coal calling the kettle black.
At the same time as Healy was having his rant on radio, on ABC’s Grandstand, Simon Katich was commenting on the same game and this is what he had to say: “I thought both of them handled it extremely well. You could tell there was a lot of emotion out there, India were desperate for wickets. They know Steve Smith is a huge wicket. I think Steve Smith handled it well too, he had a bit of a laugh. He took the mickey out of Ishant, Ishant took the mickey out of him. The umpires handled it well.”
This is a series with a lot of pride at stake. And India’s pride at the moment is wallowing in dust and the nose is black from being rubbed in the cracks on some terrible pitches by a better prepared Aussie team.
And the fact of the matter is that sledging is at its peak when things don’t go so well for the team that is doing the sledging. So you would expect India to be doing much of the sledging at the moment. Which they are. And the Aussies on the ground know exactly how to handle it.
On another day it will be the Aussies joining Matthew Wade in his (currently mindless) sledging, and India will know how to handle it.
We clearly don’t need sermonising from folks who figure prominently in every single list that’s ever been compiled of the “Top 20 Sledges of all time”.
Hold your horses Heals. But thanks for making me laugh.