This is what the best spinner ever, Shane Warne, said recently. I picked it off Cricinfo.
It just goes on to show that mind games really do work if they are done in the correct way.
To be quite frank, I don’t have a lot of memories of watching Warney bowl as I only got cable in 2007, but I do get to watch a lot of his archives on Star Cricket as well as his IPL performances, but I do love him because of what I have seen of him, he must be the greatest fucking bowler (if not player) out there in the world.
I mean, can you believe it that he had 8 (maybe more, maybe less) names for the straighter ball? You must be a clever bastard to actually get away with that.
I still can’t forget the mind games that he used to play on the opposition…the most memorable one being the nickname ‘Shermanator’ given to Ian Bell during the test in Adelaide in 2006. He says that he and Michael Clarke were watching American Pie the day before and, when they saw the actual ‘Shermanator’, they were apparently reminded of Ian Bell! 😀
Staying on the topic of mind games, can’t forget what McGrath used to do to opposition batting. Just before every test series, he always named a batsman that he planned to target during the series. The batsman generally tended to be the best or, at least, the second best batsman in the side.
The whole logic behind this is amazing. I’m sure that the targeted batsman might get into a frenzy when he’s named as the target and would engage in a lot of batting practice and watch a lot of videos to get a hang of McGrath.
However, all this is generally in vain as he always manages to get the target out at least 3 times during the series. This has a profound effect on the rest of the batting as, if McGrath is able to get a batsman out after having announced him as a target a long time ago, just imagine what he would be able to do with the others?
However, mind games only work if you target them to the right person. I’m sure plenty of viewers have noticed that the likes of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were rarely sledged at. This is because they know that these guys don’t give a rat’s ass about what they say and, if they did sledge them, it would just ensure that both of them would concentrate harder on their game, making it even difficult to dislodge them.
However, there were people like Sourav Ganguly who would easily get riled up with the taunts. Apparently, during a test match in India, there was a big crowd @ the stadium. Ganguly seemed intent on blocking every ball while Tendulkar was at the other end.
Warne decided to weave his ‘magic’ on Ganguly by telling him ‘Hey mate, the crowd’s come to watch the other bloke bat, not to watch you defend’. This got Ganguly all wound up and he launched at the next delivery from Warne and got stumped! 🙂
However, once in a while, even the Aussies got it wrong. A memorable conversation between the former Zimbabwean bulky fast bowler Eddo Brandes (while he was batting) and McGrath went like this:
McGrath – How come you’re so fat?
Brandes – It’s because your wife gave me a cookie every time I fucked her!