Bajji accuses Oz of using vulgar language

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2007, 13:10 [IST]
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The build-up to India's third match against Australia has been spiced up by comments from Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, who accused the Australians of arrogance and vulgar language.

Harbhajan pointed his bat in anger at the Australian fielders after his dismissal at Cochin, prompting umpire Steve Bucknor to intervene and persuade him to return to the pavilion.

Harbhajan told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that the tourists were arrogant and still smarting under their semi-final defeat to eventual champions India in the Twenty20 Worlds.

"They think they are superior and can do and say whatever they like, but that is not the case," Harbhajan was quoted as saying.

"They are very bad losers," he said. "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."

Harhabjan said he had had to endure "a lot of vulgar words" said to him during the match at Cochin.

"I don't have any problem with chit-chat on the field, so long as it is about the game. But when it is very personal and vulgar, that is not on," he said.

"I won't listen to that crap. If they want to play like that, they'll get it back from us."

His comments are certain to fuel the growing mutual distrust between the two teams following Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's on-field tantrums in Cochin.

Sreesanth clashed repeatedly with Australian batsmen and even appealed for a run-out against Andrew Symonds after the ball was ruled dead.

"If you get an edge over them it starts to eat into them mentally," said Symonds. "If we can play well here on their end, it would be good to take that confidence and that success back home when they come to our place.

"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."

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni prevented the situation from turning ugly by persuading Sreesanth to get on with the game, but match referee Chris Broad was unimpressed.

The former England opener spoke to the rival team managements after the Cochin game and warned the captains to control their players.

India tour Australia in December for four Tests and a triangular one-day series also featuring World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting attended nets here after missing the first two matches due to a hamstring injury sustained during last month's Twenty20 world championships in South Africa. Ponting is expected to return for the third one-day international.

Australia will also welcome back left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken, who has joined the touring party after being given compassionate leave to attend the birth of his first child.

Ponting and Bracken will strengthen the tourists as they bid for a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series, having won the second match in Cochin by 84 runs on Tuesday after the first in Bangalore was abandoned due to rain.

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