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'Australians are playing mind games'

Indian team manager Chetan Chauhan says Australia's racial abuse complain against Harbhajan was aimed at removing him from the bowling attack.

cricket Updated: Jan 05, 2008 21:04 IST

Indian cricket team manager Chetan Chauhan on Saturday described Australia's complaint of racial abuse against Harbhajan Singh as a "mind game" and said the move was aimed at removing the ace spinner from the bowling attack.

Chauhan said Harbhajan had not uttered anything "wrong" during his altercation with Andrew Symonds and the Australians were raking up such issues only because they cannot accept India's new found aggression.

"Harbhajan has not uttered anything wrong. The Australians are playing mind games. We have got the hearing tomorrow and we will argue our case", Chauhan said.

Asked how Harbhajan had reacted to the whole issue, the former Indian opener said "He is okay. Such things happen on the ground. We are prepared for the hearing," he said.

On Australian opener Matthew Hayden's assertion that Australia have a strong case, Chauhan said " They will definitely say that. He (Harbhajan) has troubled them the most. They would definitely want him out of the bowling attack", he said.

"We also have a strong case. We will back him", Chauhan told CNN-IBN.

Chauhan said the Australians were not used to teams retaliating to their sledging and were therefore finding it hard to digest. "In the past, retaliation had not come. The Indians had accepted their sledging. Now they are finding it hard as the Indians have started retaliating", he added.