David Warner: The worst sledger in international cricket

Mark Young Roar Guru

By Mark Young, Mark Young is a Roar Guru

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    Take a bow David Warner. In a high profile but not particularly crowded field, he has distinguished himself as easily the worst exponent of sledging in international cricket.

    David has been castigated this week over the ugly fracas that erupted at the end of Day 4 of the first Test. But what is sorely missing is any sort of discussion on how utterly hopeless he is when it comes to sledging.

    Putting aside the issue of whether or not the verbals, chirps, insults, sooks etc from the Australian cricket team has a place in the game, there can be little doubt that David Warner is sorely lacking in the skills needed if wants to be a great mouth.

    He is not funny
    Every single sports fan on this website knows the great sledges of cricket and knows them incredibly well. Merv Hughes and Viv Richards, Rod Marsh and Ian Botham, Mark Waugh and James Ormond, Glen McGrath and Edo Brandes.

    There is simply no more effective way of bagging someone than with a hilarious take that makes them look stupid. On the other hand, Warner’s career sledging highlight is to yell at Rohit Sharma to ‘speak English’.

    His brand of yapping, foul-mouthed abuse is as memorable as being cursed by a deadbeat teen outside Wyong Kmart and not nearly as effective.

    He’s not discrete
    As a background to this, I confess to a manly love for Steve Waugh, his stoic and stubborn approach to challenges has been an inspiration for my entire adult life. He was also an incessant sledger and the evidence of this is, is, well there was the line he said to Herschelle Gibbs, and the blow up with Curtly Ambrose – and that is it really.

    Everything else he said was sly and sneaky enough to stay on the field and under the radar. In contrast, Ryan O’Connell made a brave defence of Warner’s rap sheet yesterday and made one thing clear. He has no skill at all at doing something on the field which doesn’t create an incident.

    Waugh is a gentlemanly Rotarian who later turns out to have been a cat thief. Warner is the guy with no license because he repeatedly gets caught not wearing his seatbelt.

    Australian batsman David Warner

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    He’s not effective
    Which bring us neatly to the key point of sledging, upsetting and unsettling your opponent. If you are doing it right, the opposition is rattled and not playing their best. Even better, you cause your target so much angst they lose their cool.

    David Warner’s mouth has completely unsettled, no-one since the start of his career. His batting has been extraordinary, on debut against South Africa he hit so well that they were forced to scramble their very best bowler out of the attack just to try and unsettle his rhythm.

    But his on-field sledging has been a lost cause, no more sharply illustrated than the fact that this latest incident occurred at the end of a day where his long attempt to unsettle Quinton De Kock had been a dismal failure.

    All of this aside though, he could carry on sledging to his heart’s content if not for the fact that…

    He can’t play
    I mentioned in the previous point that the ultimate aim of any sledging has to be the unsettling of an opponent. Well David spent hours trying to get at De Kock who after the play, (yes after the play!) managed to sledge him so well that he lost his cool and are about to be suspended.

    Did De Kock cross a line and verbal Warner’s wife? Should this be off limits? Did Warner verbal De Kock’s family?

    It doesn’t matter. If you are happy for players to abuse each other on the field during a cricket match but want to have a discussion about the boundaries of what is and what isn’t acceptable, you have missed the entire point of sledging.

    The only reason you verbal someone is to upset them by saying something they find unacceptable. This does not mean anything goes, and any comment about family, gender, race, religion is fair game on the field. Far from it. If David Warner had laughed in De Kock’s face, and then made an official complaint to the match referee we would have a completely different outcome.

    But if you are going to lose your cool and get suspended when someone sledges you, then maybe you shouldn’t be sledging them! Unfortunately, one of the brightest cricket talents of this generation with the bat is intent on being remembered for his lack of talent and self-control with the lip.

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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • March 8th 2018 @ 7:10am
      Blake Standfield said | March 8th 2018 @ 7:10am | ! Report

      You must have access to stump mics?

      • Roar Guru

        March 8th 2018 @ 3:23pm
        JamesH said | March 8th 2018 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

        Yeah, this is a head-scratcher. Maybe it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek?

        “He is not funny”
        Given that you have no idea about 99% of what he says, this is nothing more than a guess.

        “He’s not discrete”
        I’ll give you that one. Warner isn’t discrete in anything he does, good or bad, so sledging probably isn’t any different.

        “He’s not effective… David Warner’s mouth has completely unsettled no-one since the start of his career”
        Righto, just cherry pick a couple of instances where his sledging didn’t have the desired result and assume it never works. Great logic that. Just more guesswork and probably very, very wrong.

        “He can’t play”
        I’m not even sure what that means. Are you suggesting that he always loses the ‘sledging battle’? If so, that’s more guesswork. Unless you can point to other instances where he flew off the handle because he got sledged on/near the field, you’re probably wrong.

        As a side note, Steve Waugh – that bloke you love – fostered a culture of what is regarded as some of the worst unfunny sledging in history by the likes of McGrath, Warne and Hayden. He simply let his henchmen do most of the dirty work so he could keep his hands clean. Is that really any better? There’s probably a good argument that it’s actually worse.

        • March 8th 2018 @ 5:45pm
          Arky said | March 8th 2018 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

          Waugh’s just lucky that in his era they either didn’t pick up as much stuff on stump mics or didn’t broadcast it. He and that whole team sledged incessantly.

        • Roar Guru

          March 8th 2018 @ 8:44pm
          Mark Young said | March 8th 2018 @ 8:44pm | ! Report

          Hi JamesH
          Thanks for reading mate. And I agree, Steve’s Waugh’s endorsement and support for a mental disintergation culture in the Australian Team was ugly and dishonorable. But still, I’m the guy with Ayrton Senna as my avatar, and he was a colossal sook who nearly killed Alain Prost in 1990. But my lord he could drive a car.

          Back to Warner.
          We agree he is not discrete. As for not being Funny or Effective, I assert this in the absence of anything Funny or Effective. Right now, there is plenty of funny stump mic youtube videos of players like Andy Flintoff, Sangakarra etc being hilarious. If Dave had said something funny, we would have heard about it. Or seen other players and umpires smiling and laughing at him. I don’t watch as much cricket as I used to, so stand to be corrected.
          In terms of being effective, again can you point to any player who has been unsettled and upset and played poorly because of David Warner’s lip? Shane Warne, completely destroyed the confidence of numerous players, not just Darryl Cullinan and had them beaten before he even bowled a ball.
          Which brings me to why he can’t play – You talk rubbish and verbally smack em about to unsettle them, put them off their game and make them play worse. When Sharma curses Warner in Hindi, or De Kock calls his wife all sorts of unpleasant things – Warner is winning, he has reduced his opponent to trying to insult him instead of focusing on their game. THis is the point where Shane Warne, Steve Waugh or Andy Flintoff burst out laughing and goad them into saying something even dumber. But David Warner ends of yelling and cursing at them and losing his own cool.
          He is hopeless at Sledging. And I cannot find any evidence that all his bluster and carry on damages the opposition more then it damages him.

    • March 8th 2018 @ 8:16am
      AR said | March 8th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      This article is bang on.

      He’s not funny.

      He’s not witty.

      He’s not effective.

      My god Davey, give it a rest. You look a fool.

      • Roar Guru

        March 8th 2018 @ 9:46am
        Mark Young said | March 8th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Thanks AR! Much appreciated

      • March 8th 2018 @ 10:16am
        Bobbo7 said | March 8th 2018 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Bang on. Warner just comes across as an uncontrolled tool when he blows up like this. I don’t know who said what to whom, but it really a really doesn’t matter. Just ignore it or say bugger off and leave it at that.

        I love the bogan element on The Roar commenting, “mate if someone said something about my misses I’d do the same thing”.

        Carrying on like a dickhead in response to a stupid comment does not make you more manly or achieve anything.

        After the ABD send off I reckon the Aussies could be on the end of an ABD special the next game.

        The problem is that Warner goes well beyond sledging. I love sledging – even when I played I liked it at club cricket. Usually funny, sometimes moronic but part of the game. But Warner has got into fights, scraps and all it does I say distract from the good player he has become.

        • March 8th 2018 @ 2:23pm
          TC123 said | March 8th 2018 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

          That’s because he is a tool

          • March 8th 2018 @ 8:26pm
            paulywalnuts said | March 8th 2018 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

            Not only that. As we’ve seen over the last day, he’s also a colossal sook.

        • March 10th 2018 @ 11:38pm
          Mick said | March 10th 2018 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

          Bogan element?
          come down off your elitist high horse Bobbo (sounds like a good bogan name)
          So a bogan is defined as someone who defends their family’s honor according to you oh great wise one?
          How about NO.
          ANY decent human being who is worth a toss defends their family, this is not restricted to bogans but thanks for stereotyping.
          Warner did not have the privileged upbringing and refinement you obviously think is required to play top level cricket, (I assumed it was all about talent, silly me) and therefor defaults to ingrained behavior when he gets emotional, behaviors he learned growing up poor in a tough area of Sydney. Think about it for a moment.
          He has achieved tremendous things and changed his family’s situation much for the good. Married an ironwoman in the process. In my humble opinion, I give zero stuffs about Warners image as hes paid to make runs which he does at a phenomenal rate with consistency.
          I would much rather this then a polished, roll model choir boy with half his ability.
          Warner wins Australia games, who cares what he does and let the umpires do their jobs if hes out of line as thats their jobs.

      • March 8th 2018 @ 10:44am
        shaun said | March 8th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        you mentioned it but didnt dwell on it… but the point of sledging is to unsettle a batsman. When you hurl abuse after you have already take the wicket as he did with Lyon you just look like a tosser and it is not sledging, just verbal abuse.

    • March 8th 2018 @ 9:20am
      Diplomatt said | March 8th 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      So are you sledging Wyong or just teens? Hypocrite. Not witty.

      • Roar Guru

        March 8th 2018 @ 9:46am
        Mark Young said | March 8th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Hi Diplomatt
        I was going to sledge the teens at Woy Woy but that is too close to home for me!
        Have a great day mate

    • March 8th 2018 @ 9:32am
      BrainsTrust said | March 8th 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      The question is why after making a sensible decision to shut up, did Warner make a come back.
      Smith and Lehman did lose their specialist Wade neither a batsman or a wicketkeeper but chosen for his mouth.
      So they have obviously gone to work on Warner and got him to take over the role.

    • March 8th 2018 @ 9:47am
      Christo the Daddyo said | March 8th 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

      Yep. And because he’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, he doesn’t even have the self-awareness to realize how counter-productive he is.

      And then there’s the outdated he-man attitude he has – thinking the only way to ‘stand up’ to sledging is to huff and puff in a pathetic show of ‘manliness’. Hardly a great role model for kids is it…

      • March 10th 2018 @ 11:57pm
        Mick said | March 10th 2018 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

        I thought he was selected to play for Australia because of his immense ability with the bat, not because he was a role model. When did role modelling become a criteria for selection?
        As for your comment about “out-dated he-man attitude”, just pretend for a moment you live in the real world, your at work, and a co-worker you dont particularly like makes a vile comment about your wife to your face.
        Do you let it slide? do you get angry? how would you react?
        Let me tell you, if you dont react, your wife also has a wife. Ask her, bet she agrees.

    • March 8th 2018 @ 10:02am
      Diplomatt said | March 8th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. You also have a great day. I don’t like people who think they are superior because of their postcode or age. I’m with the teens on this one.

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