Melbourne [Australia], Nov. 2 : Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has admitted that he did open his "big mouth" during the 2014 Test series against South Africa.
Injured South Africa skipper AB de Villiers, who will miss the first Test of the three-match series starting from tomorrow, had earlier claimed that the sledging done by Australian cricketers in 2014 was the worst he has witnessed in his entire career.
In a closely-fought series, Australia had emerged as the winners by a margin of 2-1 punctuated by a series of verbal altercation, including a feud between Clarke and Proteas pace spearhead Dale Steyn, and David Warner barking at Faf du Plessis on his dismissal.
"There were a couple of occasions where I did open my big mouth. The reason I did that with James Anderson was to stick up for George Bailey and the Dale Steyn one was sticking up for James Pattinson as well.
But I shouldn't have said a word in both situations, there was no need for me to say anything," Clarke was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
The former Aussie skipper further said that the more experience he gained, he believed "it wasn't what you said it was what you did, so your performance wasn't dictated by your mouth." However, the former Australian skipper believes that one should not force sledging.
"I don't think you should force it. You need to do what's comfortable to you ... if it doesn't suit your personality then I wouldn't try to be someone I'm not," he added. He also said that he loved the aggressive approach because that's how they played their best cricket. Clarke acknowledged those comment contradicted much of what he stood for as skipper. "I loved that aggressive approach ... that's how I thought we played our best cricket," Clarke said. Spinner Nathan Lyon has, however, insisted that his team are ready compete with South Africa in the sledging department in the upcoming three match Test series.
Ever since Steve Smith has took over the captaincy, Australia---who are considered to be the masters of sledging in world cricket---have somewhat toned down their approach.
But the Australian off-spinner has suggested that there would be lot of fireworks on the field if the situation warrants it during the Proteas Test series, starting at the WACA in Perth from November 3.
"We're going to play the Australian way. We're going to compete hard. We're not going to roll over. If one of our players is getting a hard time, we're going to stick up for him," Lyon said. The first Test starts at the WACA in Perth from tomorrow, the second Test would be played at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart from November 12 and the third and the last Test at the Adelaide Oval from November 24.