Harbahajan Singh's declaration that he is not out to make friends against Australia has fired up his foe opener Matthew Hayden, who said such comments would only inspire him to perform better against the hosts.
The 36-year-old said he doesn't harbour any grudge against the off-spinner who drew the ire of the Aussies during the series between the two teams early this year.
"There is a lot less of the personal tension with Harbhajan than what is made out. In a lot of ways, I feel if that is affecting him, it's a good thing for me because I don't feel I am harbouring any massive resentment,” Hayden was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I think he is a very good bowler and it is challenging to play well. Over the years those kind of tensions have always made me play better, and I will certainly be using that to my advantage.
"It (the series) is going to have Test match tension and I don't feel threatened. The only thing that threatens me is what balls he can deliver to get me out. To me, that has been a great source of motivation, not just (against) Harbhajan. They've got a very solid bowling attack right around," he said,
The Australian opener has had running battles with Harbhajan during the series earlier in the year and famously called him "an obnoxious little weed" - a remark that drew a reprimand from Cricket Australia.