India and Australia have developed quite an intense rivalry and India batsman Robin Uthappa revealed that former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, one of the batsmen he admired a lot, didn’t speak to him for 2-3 years after being sledged during the 2007 India vs Australia series.
Uthappa, who was at his peak during the 2006-08 season for India, revealed how there was an incredible amount of sledging going on each time the two times faced each other. 2007 was the year when India defeat Australia in the semi-final of the inaugural T20 World Cup and later squared off in a one-off T20 series and a seven-match ODI series.
The Amount Of Sledging That Happened In That Game Was Incredible: Robin Uthappa On Sledging During The 2007 T20 World Cup Semi-Final In Durban
Uthappa explained how both teams were constantly having a go at each other, describing how it all began during the crunch semi-final tie – in Durban – of the T20 World Cup in South Africa.
“The amount of sledging that happened in that 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’.
“In that game, Gauti (Gautam Gambhir) gave it back. I gave it back to Andrew Symonds, Mitchell Johnson, Brad Haddin. The toughest one that I encountered in that game was Matthew Hayden. He inspired me as a person and batsman. In fact, my walking shot was picked out of him. I remember Haydos was batting and in that game, he was going at me and that is when I decided, ‘Ok, I’m going to give it back’. So when they came to bat, I was giving it. And it got to Haydos at a point, while he was batting,” Uthappa added.
Matthew Hayden Did Not Speak To Me For 2-3 Years. He Would Be Very Cold-Shouldered To Me: Robin Uthappa
Uthappa revealed that the sledging between the two was so brutal that it left both men, especially Hayden a bit more offended as he stopped talking to Uthappa for the next 2-3 years and often cold-shouldered him whenever the two met.
“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,” said Uthappa.
India defeated Australia in a one-off T20I match at home, just a week after winning the T20 World Cup in South Africa.