Readers Question: Do you sledge? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Readers Question: Do you sledge?

What with Paul Nixon taking English sledging to a new level and a big jump in harrowdrive subscribers this week I thought it was the perfect time to ask you a question.

Do you sledge?

We certainly do at my club, although it's more subtle than the in-your-face insult stuff of the International game. Here are some ways I like to do it:

  • Indirect Comments. I'll often make a comment (just loud enough) to a team mate about the batsman's technique. If he drives well I'll note he likes to flash outside the off stump or seems weak on the leg side. Backing this up by moving a fielder away from the leg side or into the slips works well too.
  • Distractions. A great way to get the batsman in a negative frame of mind is to distract him with talk about unrelated things. The idea is to get him out of concentrating on the moment and thinking about stuff that is putting him off. It's subtle and easy to go too far though, so take care!
  • Chirping. This is an easy one for the keepers when standing up. I will often go on about anything to just get the batsman thinking "shut up"! Take care not to wind up your own team too. There is a fine line between being lively and annoying.
  • Bluffing. This is my favourite. Telling new batsmen its turning square then putting in another close fielder is a great ploy. On the other side of the coin, you could say it's gun barrel straight when it's swinging all over. Less is more with this tactic though. Even the slowest players catch on quick!

What about you? How far do you go? Do you know any aggressive fast bowlers in your club who get right in peoples faces?

Leave a comment or drop me an email.

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I've always played my cricket in teams where the opposition and the majority of my team-mates are A LOT older than I am. This predicament has led to my tentativeness when it comes to sledging! I feel as though it's not my place to sledge, due to the age difference and respect factor. However, I recently became Captain of my school 1st XI, and will probably encourage a bit of playful banter amongst the team for intimidation purposes! I think if employed effectively and respectfully, sledging can be a useful tactic in achieving the overall aim of the game (i.e. WINNING!)

I agree about respect Ahmed. It's the difference between sharp play and plain old abuse!

I've never sledged myself, but I remember one moment to do with sledging when I played at under-15's level.

I was in around 4 or 5, and I'd been in for a fair few overs without scoring. Of course, the opposing wicketkeeper thought it'd be best to remind me, and the fielding side of this. Needless to say when the next ball came, he got the reaction he wanted, but not the end result. I walked down the ground to the quickie and smashed the ball back over his head for 4.

His plan worked, to get a big reaction out of me...but luckily, I had my head well screwed on and played a really nice shot

I'm all for a bit of friendly banter, but as has been said, it needs to be done respectfully.

Gotta love this game.

Nice work Jay. Although as keeper I would have been tempted to say "wicket is coming boys, everything is going in the air"!

If the batsman has been missing shots and the ball whizzes past to the keeper, we comment (to the bowler) to bowl a bit slow as the batsman may be having problems seeing the ball. As it happens generally, the batsman takes a few wild slogs and holes out sooner or later.....

I like that one!

I'm captain of my team and was playing against a mate, who when came out to bat at No.3 said "When are you coming on mate? I'm think I'm up for a long knock today." I responded with "I'll let you get your eye in with these blokes so your in good enough form to knick one of mine". The new ball bowlers were still going and bowling pretty sharp.
Anyway he was looking good and when I decided to make the change and have a crack at him - he played and missed the first delivery and I followed through right up to him and asked "Do you need me to bring the other guys back on until your seeing them better?" He knicked the next one through to the keeper.
When having a beer after the game he admitted it had got under his skin and he lost concentration from it.

While bowling I usually test the batsman with some sharp into the body balls and then get close to them and make an eye contact with a little smile that probably turns some switches on in their heads. The next ball is a yorker or a full one which the batsman now not in a good frame of mind usually misses and is bowled or caught. This is more of a mental sledge than a verbal one. But it works well for me. The other one I use on batsmen is to inform them that their hand phone is ringing. Its time for the movie etc.

What do the last 2 mean Khalid? If a bowler told me it was time for a movie I would just be confused.

I think the more important question is what movie are we talking about? Is it a chick flick, thriller? We need more info Khalid. Smiling

The new ball bowlers were still going and bowling pretty sharp.
Anyway he was looking good