Dhoni, Sharma embroiled in new controversies

Published: Monday, February 25, 2008, 10:51 [IST]
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Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni became embroiled in a controversy over the legality of his wicketkeeping gloves during an ill-tempered tri-series match against Australia here on Sunday.

Australia won a thrilling match by 18 runs, but the game was marred by incidents involving Dhoni and young Indian speedster Ishant Sharma.

Dhoni took a fine diving catch to remove Adam Gilchrist, but local television commentator and former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy said the cricketer's gloves were illegal.

Healy said the webbing, in which the ball lodged as Dhoni dove to his right, was too big.

Match referee Jeff Crowe reportedly approached Indian officials and a short time later Dhoni switched gloves.

Speaking after the match, the Indian captain said he had been using the same kind of glove for some time.

"It's an exact replica of the ones I was using in the Test series so that's all I know about it," Dhoni said. "There was no point creating controversy so I said, 'I'll change the gloves'."

The webbing in wicketkeeping gloves is not allowed to extend beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb.

Meanwhile, the tension between the teams boiled over again when Sharma and Andrew Symonds exchanged words after the Australian batsman was bowled.

Symonds was at the centre of the Harbhajan Singh controversy during an often heated Test series, when the Indian spinner received a three-Test suspension for allegedly racially abusing the Australian.

The suspension was subsequently overturned at an appeal hearing.

Symonds appeared to take offence at Sharma's celebration after claiming his wicket in Sunday's game and made his displeasure known.

Sharma responded with some words of his own and pointed to the pavilion.

Speaking after Sunday's match, Dhoni said he told Ishant Sharma to "cool down" at the time.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting played down the incident.

"There was a minor altercation out there today and I don't think we should make too much of it," Ponting said.

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