For a victorious captain, Adam Gilchrist was not in a great mood on Tuesday. In a thinly-veiled reference to the conduct of India’s S Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh, the Australian skipper said: “I saw a few things that I wouldn’t expect from my son Harrison in a backyard game of cricket. But we’ll move on."
Sreesanth and Australia’s Andrew Symonds were involved in more than one heated exchange on the day. Harbhajan and the Australians had a pow-wow after he was out stumped.
Sreesanth did not stop at angry words. Symonds had reached the non-striker’s end but had wandered out of the crease during the argument. Sreesanth then did something that shocked even his captain MS Dhoni — he took the bails off and appealed for a run out verdict.
“I thought he was joking,” said Dhoni. “Then I realised he was serious, and told him there are better ways to get a batsman.”
“He was excited, pumped up,” Dhoni added with a smile. He was playing before his home crowd. You expect a guy to be that way, especially Sreesanth.”
Dhoni continued, “If you are playing Australia, there’s going to be some chit-chat. As long as it’s not personal, it’s fine. Till now it’s been alright.”
“Sreesanth has matured and will get better. Ek-aadh match ban lag jaayega, line pe aa jaayega."
Asked how Sreesanth was after being hit on his head by a Dhoni drive while standing at the non-striker’s end, the skipper said he was fine.
Gilchrist was palpably riled, stepping out of the diplomatic crease as much as is possible for a modern, media-savvy athlete.
“Sreesanth has been talking up, he’s been outspoken about taking the challenge to us," he said. "If that’s the way he wants to play his cricket, that’s fine. But we’ll play aggressive too."
‘Enough of Twenty20’
Gilchrist also seemed exasperated over questions on Twenty20 World Cup. After answering a few on Tuesday, he said: “The quicker we move on from Twenty20, the better. Congrats to India, wonderful victory, beautiful celebrations. We enjoyed it, never seen anything like it, but I’m more interested in the fact that we’ve won today."