The two became embroiled in a set-to when Symonds took offence to the Indian's celebration after he had clean-bowled him, leading Sharma to point the all-rounder towards the pavilion.
The gesture led the 19-year-old bowler to be fined 15 per cent of Sunday's match fee by match referee Jeff Crowe.
But speaking after his side crushed Sri Lanka by seven wickets here on Tuesday to earn a place in the tri-series final against Australia, Dhoni echoed the Indian management's earlier claims that Symonds had instigated the incident.
"He only reacted to what Symonds said to him," Dhoni said of Sharma's reaction.
An Indian official confirmed that a complaint had been lodged with Crowe about provocative behaviour of several Australians -- believed to be Symonds, captain Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden.
Dhoni conceded sledging had been part of cricket for many years and said his team was prepared to fight back with a few comments of their own.
"It's been going on for a long time and you have to be careful about that," he said. "If you're getting provoked then there are ways in which you can reply so you have to be careful about it.
"We have youngsters in the side who will learn all these arts. I think it's an art. You have to be good at it."
The simmering tension between the sides stretches back to the contentious second Test in Sydney, when Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was suspended for three matches for allegedly racially abusing Symonds. The decision was later overturned at an appeal hearing.
Meanwhile Australia's fast-bowler Brett Lee on Tuesday claimed the antipathy between the sides had been blown out of proportion and said they got on well.
However, Dhoni conceded that wasn't necessarily the case, saying: "Cricket can never be friendly. There will always be aggression on the field but as long as it's balanced and nobody crosses the line, then it's fair enough."