Nothing is wrong with the sledges

RELENTLESS sledging, bristling handlebar moustaches and pure intimidation - terms all synonymous with the Aussies' demolition of the English Ashes side.

It's been hard-as-nails cricket for the first two Tests, and you can expect more of the same when the third kicks off on a fast and bouncy Perth wicket today.

The boys have played entertaining, hard-nosed cricket and it has reaped the rewards, with the human rocket-launcher, Mitchell Johnson, leading from the front.

With man-of-the-match performances in each of the first two Tests, he ticks every box and more, his hostile spells of bowling upwards of 150kmh have unsettled the best players in world.

There is nothing nice about facing a cricket ball at such high velocity and Mitch has used that to his benefit perfectly.

I've been on the receiving end of my fair share of fast, short-pitched bowling and it's not something I enjoy.

My initial taste of this demoralising tactic was in my first-grade debut for Souths in Brisbane.

I came in to bat in the final hour of play in fading light against a fired-up Queensland fast bowler in Ashley Noffke, who was brandishing a brand new Kookaburra ball in his hand.

I began the over at the non-striker's end, and that's where I stayed.

I didn't even attempt to get on strike, even after the third ball of the over rose sharply from back of a length and clocked my fellow batting partner on the badge of his helmet, bouncing just once before the fine leg fieldsman.

Mind games are part and parcel of any professional sport, none more so than cricket.

Unfortunately, this die-hard approach has received more then it's fair share of negative media in the past fortnight.

'Nasty', 'spiteful' and 'ugly' are all terms that have been bandied about, incited by the unfortunate incident involving Michael Clarke and James Anderson, caught on the stump microphone at the Gabba in the first Test.

I personally disagree, and believe mental disintegration is no more invasive or threatening than a bouncer which is designed purely to hurt a batsman.

It is Test cricket after all, and therefore a test of every facet of a player's game.

Let me tell you, the Australians only give as good as they get.

Topics:  ashes ben cutting cricket opinion sledging

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