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October 29, 2008
Gautam Gambhir has said he accidentally elbowed the bowler Shane Watson in the chest during a tense exchange on the first day of the third Test in Delhi.
Gambhir, who scored an unbeaten 149 to drive India to 296 for 3 at stumps, clashed verbally with Watson during the middle session and then ran into him when trying for a second run.
"It wasn't deliberate, it just happened," Gambhir said. "I didn't need to get into this argument with Shane Watson because he had no option of getting me out. There wasn't a need for me to stick my elbow out."
Watson immediately turned around to the batsman to complain and the Australian players now expect the incident to be looked at by match referee Chris Broad. In the second Test Zaheer Khan was fined 80% of his match fee for an aggressive send-off to Matthew Hayden and the aggression between the teams was on show again.
Gambhir and part-time spinner Simon Katich argued regularly during the bowler's six overs late in the day and at one stage had to be separated by the umpire Billy Bowden. "That's part of the game," Gambhir said of the incidents. "They were really desperate to get me out because of the way I was batting and were trying to break my concentration. But the important thing was to just be there, not back out, and keep up the concentration."
The Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke quickly spoke to both Katich and Watson after the incidents. "I did see that [the elbow incident] on replay and I'm pretty sure the match referee, or whoever, will have a look at that," Clarke said. "Like the incident with Kato, it's important we all get on with the game. As vice-captain, I grabbed Watto and just said 'continue to bowl well'."
When Katich was at his most animated Clarke put his arm round the bowler. "Say what you have to say and let's get on with it," Clarke said. "I said, 'let it go, Kato, just get on and bowl, it's fine, let it go'."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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