Former India opener Robin Uthappa recently reflected on a series of sledging incidents that took place in 2007, when India and Australia often locked horns in limited-overs cricket
It all started at the inaugural T20 World Cup in Durban, South Africa when India beat Australia in the semifinals before going on to win the tournament. However, according to Uthappa, the sledging didn’t stop there and continued as Australia visited India for a one off T20I as well as a seven-match ODI series
"The amount of sledging that happened in that (semifinal) game was incredible. I remember people having a go at me and at that time, when they had a go, very few people retaliated. Only Zak bhai (Zaheer Khan) was one of them and a few other fast bowlers. But none of the batsmen gave it back," Uthappa told stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant on his YouTube show 'Wake Up With Sorabh'.
Uthappa went on to reveal how the altercation with the Australian legend Matthew Hayden caused great tension between the two players. The Indian batsman explained how he looked up to Hayden for inspiration, but the ugly incident meant that the Australian great stopped talking to the Indian cricketer for a few years.
"He said something to me which I'm not going to repeat and I said something back to him. He did not speak to me for 2-3 years. He would be very cold-shouldered to me. And it hurt. Because at that point, it was about winning. I wanted to win and make them feel as uncomfortable as possible, and I did that. We won but I missed out on interacting with someone who truly inspired me,” Uthappa explained.
The 35-year-old Uthappa made his India debut in April 2006 against England and has played in 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for the Men in Blue. Although he is currently not a part of the Indian set-up, he was recently seen representing the Chennai team in the Indian T20 league.
Featured Image: AFP/ Manan Vatsyayana