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October 4, 2007
Harbhajan Singh has claimed Australia targeted him with "personal and vulgar" words during the second one-day match in India while Andrew Symonds was "disappointed" with the behaviour of Sreesanth. Sreesanth attempted to run-out Symonds in a move even Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain, initially thought was a joke.
After the match Harbhajan was not laughing and said the Australians had shown themselves to be bad losers after their defeat to India in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup. "They clearly did not like that," Harbhajan said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "They are a very good cricket side, but that does not mean that they can do whatever they want to do.
"They say they play the game in the right spirit, but they don't in reality. There is nothing gentlemanly about the way they play."
After being dismissed by Michael Clarke in the 84-run loss, Harbhajan waited mid-pitch and pointed his bat. "I was responding to a lot of vulgar words that were said to me," he said. "I don't have any problem with chitchat on the field, so long as it is about the game. But when it is very personal and vulgar, that is not on. They think you cannot fight back and they do not like it when you do."
The Australians were also upset with the opposition's actions and Symonds said Gilchrist had spoken to Sreesanth during the match. "[He] tried to explain to him it's best to try and get on with the game and try not to get tangled up with some of the childish exchanges," Symonds said in the Australian.
Symonds, who hopes to get a mental edge over India before they tour Australia in December, said he was disappointed when Sreesanth attempted to run him out when he was going to speak to Brad Haddin. Dhoni told Sreesanth: "That is not the way you get the batsman out, you get him out some other way."
"I went back and made my ground," Symonds said, "and I just went down to give Brad some support. He was doing his best and failed to make contact with that particular ball, and I didn't see the need for him to be at Brad like he was. When I go to another sport I like to see confrontation, I'll admit that, but you don't want to see ugly confrontation and you don't want to see confrontation that degrades your sport."
Shane Warne, who is in Melbourne, did not think Sreesanth's overall behavoiur was "over the top". "It's going to add a bit of spice to the summer," Warne told AAP. "Everyone's going to be looking for Sreesanth to do his stuff and it shows with a bit of passion. I think it's going to be good for the summer."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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