Canberra: India's opening batsman Virender Sehwag, who hit a sparkling 113 off 78 balls against the ACT XI, has said that India would not shy away from any tit-for-tat riposte to the abuses hurled at his teammates by the Australians.
''We just want to come and play cricket. If they say something, we will also talk back,'' Sehwag told Star Cricket, accusing Australians that they are famous at sledging, he said ''if they start it, we will not be quiet. And that's how it should be, why should we be quiet?''
However, Sehwag hopes that there would be no sledging in the Perth Test, which begins on Wednesday, but he also admits that the team would respond if it happens.
Throwing his weight behind Harbhajan, who is fighting a three-match ban for allegedly abusing Symonds, Sehwag said the off-spinner did not say anything, which could amount to racially abusing in Sydney.
"When two players have an argument they are bound to say something annoying, but Harbhajan knows what to say and what not. I am sure he did not say anything racial," Sehwag said after practice match against ACT XI today.
He said it was heartening to see some of the players giving it back to the abrasive Australians.
"It is good that we have some youngsters who can give back what is hurled on them. They have the attitude and the confidence. I mean why should we take it lying down? We should pay them back and thats how it should be," he said.
Sympathising with the 'turbanator', Sehwag said ''he understand what Harbhajan must be going through as he was once banned for a Test in South Africa early in his career for over appealing.
''You get low on confidence. I remember wondering, what did I do to get such a punishment. I didn't know, was it because I had over appealed or upar dekne ke liye? (for looking up towards the sky - perhaps referring that was construed as showing dissent with the decision),'' he said.
Commenting on the controversial end of second Test played at Sydney, Sehwag said ''We were pretty angry. The Test could have been drawn and, had the decisions gone our way, we could have perhaps won it also.'' Sehwag also disappointed that the Test has come to be remembered for its controversies. ''This is bad for cricket. Only controversies have been highlighted. There was some great cricket there.''