On the final day of the first Test, Zaheer Khan stoked the fire of a new verbal duel between both sides. After receiving his man of the match medal, Zaheer said: ''I have not seen a more defensive Australian side than this.''
That was enough to set the ball rolling for a new fight. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting did not take kindly to this Zaheer assessment and hit back at the Indian fast bowler. ''I don't what Zaheer is trying to say. We were the only ones who were trying to take the game forward. He is probably having a chuckle to himself (Zaheer) after he has said that, but it does not really mean anything to us,'' said Ponting.
When it was the turn of Zaheer to speak, the Indian fast bowler did not respond. When told that Ponting mocked at his opinion, Zaheer just flew off the handle.
''Australians talk about batting at the rate of 4 runs per over. What happened in this game? Their bowlers could not get Bhajji and me out. It clearly shows that they can't get 20 wickets. They are under more pressure,'' said Zaheer.
Just when it seemed that things would calm down, Zaheer started off all over again. The feature of the final day's play was the fact that Australia's spinners did not look effective on a wearing track. India got away in the middle session of Monday and quitely moved to safety. This point was not missed by Zaheer as well.''We all saw what happened on a fifth day pitch, their spinners could not make any impact. Even their fast bowlers did not look like taking any wickets,'' said Zaheer.
On second day of the test, there was a minor scuffle between Zaheer Khan and Aussie wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in the field.
Mitchell Johnson, who picked up his fourth victim when he trapped Sourav Ganguly for 47, tested new man Zaheer Khan with a couple of short pitched deliveries. Haddin, then, tried sledging the batsman from behind the wicket and Zaheer reacted angrily and a few words exchanged were exchanged between the two.