Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday hit back at Ricky Ponting for his "uncalled for" remarks that the former India captain was no angel in his hey-days, saying the Australian skipper's comments were an indication that his side was "rattled" to find a challenger in India.
"I think it was totally uncalled for and it is showing the world that they are rattled," Gavaskar told the CNN-IBN.
The former Indian captain said Ponting's comments also smelled of publicity gimmick.
"I think they have been a champion side and suddenly they find that they have a challenger in India. And therefore, it's not just Ponting but all the other statements that we have heard from other Australians," he said.
"...Probably (they are) trying to sell their books or whatever it is," he added.
Ponting, in his just-published Captain's Diary 2008, has lashed out at Gavaskar and other former players for often blaming the Australian team for on-field confrontations.
"Unfortunately, as soon as a spectator or a commentator spots one of my team chipping on opponent, they assume it is a pre-meditated attack. The most laughable aspect is when I hear former players complaining, as though they never put a toe out of line in their day.
"I still have a vivid image of Sunil Gavaskar angrily trying to take his opening partner off the MCG with him in 1981 when he was given out lbw in a Test match, but to hear him today you'd think he was positively angelic when he was the best opening batsman in the world," he wrote.
Gavaskar pointed out that Ponting would not have a clear understanding of the incident as he was just a child then.
"Ponting was just seven-year-old when MCG incident happened. He does not know the background," he said.