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Indian spinner slams vulgar Aussie language

INDIAN spinner Harbhajan Singh has launched a scathing attack on the Australian cricket team, accusing the tourists of arrogance and vulgar language following Tuesday’s heated one-day international in Cochin.

Harbhajan remonstrated with Australia’s fieldsmen after his dismissal by Michael Clarke at the Nehru International Stadium, pointing his bat in anger and standing his ground mid-pitch. Umpire Steve Bucknor eventually interjected and separated a clearly irate Harbhajan from the Australians.

Harbhajan claims several fieldsmen had engaged in vulgar language after his dismissal, prompting his outburst. The veteran spinner, who has a long history of tension with Australian sides, added that the tourists were arrogant, and still smarting from their defeat at the Twenty20 World Cup.

“They think they are superior and can do and say whatever they like, but that is not the case,” Harbhajan said. “They are very bad losers. They were beaten in the (Twenty20) World Cup and they clearly did not like that …

“I was responding to a lot of vulgar words that were said to me. 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. They think you cannot fight back, and they do not like it when you do. I won’t listen to that crap. If they want to play like that, they’ll get it back from us.”

Harbhajan added that his sentiments were shared not only by the Indian team, but other teams around the world.

“Ask any team,” he continued. “They will tell you that when they get beaten, they react badly. In this game, you win some and you lose some, but regardless of the result, there is no excuse for their kind of behaviour.”

Harbhajan’s comments are certain to raise the ire of the Australians, who believe the Indians, and in particular paceman Shantha Sreesanth, were the chief antagonists on Tuesday. Sreesanth traded barbs with both Andrew Symonds and Brad Haddin during their innings, and at one point attempted to run Symonds out on a dead ball. That stand-off only ended after the interjection of Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni.

The International Cricket Council’s match referee, Chris Broad, called Australia’s injured captain Ricky Ponting, his stand-in Adam Gilchrist and Dhoni in after the match. Broad was understood to have been unimpressed and warned the captains to control their players.

Symonds, meanwhile, said he had been disappointed with Sreesanth’s actions on Tuesday.

“I went back and made my ground and I just went down to give Brad some support, he was doing his best and failed to make contact with that particular ball and I didn’t see the need for him to be at Brad like he was,” Symonds said.

“When I go to another code of sport I like to see confrontation, I’ll admit that but you don’t want to see ugly confrontation.”

Frustrated by the constant references to India’s Twenty20 World Cup victory at the press conference after Tuesday’s match, Gilchrist has reminded local players and reporters of his side’s 50-over superiority, and challenged India to prove its worth in limited-overs “traditional” format.

“The quicker that we move on from this Twenty20, the better,” Gilchrist said.

“Everything keeps getting drawn back to it. Congratulations to India, it was a wonderful victory, beautiful celebrations — we all looked at them, never seen anything like them — but I’m more interested that we’re 1-0 up in this one.”

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