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Let's Not Call The Moral Outrage Cops Over This 'Facial Cricket Sledge'

The last laugh is on Ishant Sharma, whose overall bowling record is woeful.

06/03/2017 12:26 PM AEDT | Updated 09/03/2017 8:50 AM AEDT
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If nothing else, give him points for originality

On the face of it, this guy is much better at taking the piss than taking wickets.

Indian bowler Ishant Sharma was getting mighty sick of Australian captain Steve Smith and the Australian batting line-up's resistance in the second Test in Bengaluru, so he resorted to some rather comical facial sledging.

If nothing else, give him points for originality. Instead of the traditional verbal sledge, Sharma weirdly contorted his face in what appeared to be a gesture mocking Steve Smith's quirky fidgets.

To which half of the internet (including former Indian champion spinner Bishan Bedi) voiced a slightly stodgy disapproval.

While the other half said: meme time!

Sharma, on statistical balance, is a disappointing cricketer. He looks good moving up to the crease, and bowls the occasional unplayable delivery. But his overall record is poor for a man in his 76th Test.

The 28-year-old averages just 36 (one wicket for every 36 runs conceded) and 45 against Australia. World class bowlers like Australians Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood both average 25. That's a huge difference over time in terms of your value to the team -- a point not lost on the cricket-loving public.

Sharma's one wicket in this series to date is Mitchell Marsh. And without being too rude, you or I would sneak through Marsh's flimsy bat-pad defence hurling watermelons.

The match resumes Monday afternoon with Australia 48 runs in front with four first wicket innings in hand. If Australia scores too many more runs, Sharma may well want to hide his face, rather than contort it in mockery.

Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters
Hair's to you, mate.



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