Sledging Brian Lara means asking for trouble, warns former England captain Nasser Hussain, who feels that any bowler who picks on the West Indian captain should be prepared to get hammered across the park.
"There are some players we didn't bother with: Brian Lara, for example, you don't sledge because you don't want to wake him up. The Aussies tried it once and he scored 275 against them in Sydney," Hussain told in response to queries posted by 'Guardian' readers here.
The former captain, who led England "when they were crap", said the pioneer of mental disintegration, Australian captain Steve Waugh was the cleverest sledger of all.
"He'd pick your game to pieces from the gully or slip, telling you what he'd seen on the telly highlights or read in the paper about your technique," he said, recalling his experience of playing against the Aussie.
He revealed that Shane Warne was also a cunning sledger but never got personal.
"Warney was also clever. He'd tell you about every time he'd ever got you out," Hussain said.
Hussain said he hardly ever let sledging affect his on-field composure but admitted that sometimes the expletives used by the pacers did test his patience.
"I was never that fussed by it. There are degrees -- the fast bowlers tend not to be the brightest and their words tend not to be the kind of thing you'd want to print in a newspaper," he said.
Commenting on the new ICC rankings which place Pakistan a step above England at second, Hussain said the injury-depleted hosts were clearly at a disadvantage against the youthful team led Inzamam-ul Haq.
"They (Pakistan) certainly have the capability of being second to Australia or even being better but England are very good and they have proved that against Australia. Obviously their injury situation is not ideal but their Test form has been good.