New Delhi: Sport has never been short of competition - A.C. or B.C., sport continues to test characters and lay them bare in public. To put that in context, 'Sports do not build character. They reveal it'.
You win, and bouquets are delivered. But you lose, and the animal in you is unleashed. Competition in sports sometimes brings out the inner animal in us. Samit Patel and Tim Bresnan made statements on the eve of their team's Mohali mauling that show exactly that.
In a matter of two months, the England team has turned from civil hosts to rude visitors. To win and celebrate comes naturally, but to lose and remain cultured needs to be taught. India has delivered that lesson to England with a series-winning 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
A day before the third ODI at Mohali, Samit admitted England will carry on sledging in an attempt to "get the Indians out of their comfort zone." Well, if that's the case, India have no reason to be angry, but should thank England to end their catnap.
Add to that Bresnan's helplessness expressed in these words. "As a fast bowling unit, we can't really use the ball to intimidate as much as we'd like in India, with it not bouncing so high. So we have to do other things to get into the batsman's bubble, whether it's a little bit of a word or a look or a stare."
Isn't it admittance of the fact that England bowlers are not skilled enough to perform in different conditions? Absolutely!
Sports are governed by rules, even when fans don't expect a love-fest between arch rivals. Responsibility of referees, umpires and coaches is that much bigger when seriousness of a game is expected to take players to the edge.
In contrast, India never resorted to such dirty tactics while they failed to win even a single match in England. That's because India believe to get under their opponent's skin through performance, not by some foul-mouth banter.
As much the defeats in the first three ODIs, England seem to be hurt by the margin of those. Indian victories have been emphatic to say the least, unlike England who needed rain to assist them in beating India in England. Add to that England losing with a full strength team while India's loss in England was largely due to injuries to stalwarts.
With victories by 126 runs at Hyderabad, by eight wickets at Delhi and by five wickets at Mohali, India are making sure that England's wounds keep getting deeper. England can now sledge as much as they want, the World Champions are back!