India and Australia have been spewing bile at each other since the ill-tempered game in Kochi and the incidents involving Sreesanth, Harbhajan and some opposition players, like Andrew Symonds.
While interim Australian captain Adam Gilchrist criticised the behaviour of the Indian players immediately after the match, Harbhajan has now given his version. He said he was provoked by “vulgar and personal” comments from the Australians.
“They are very bad losers,” Harbhajan said. “They say they play the game in the right spirit, but they don’t in reality. There is nothing gentlemanly about the way they play. I don’t have any problem with chit-chat on the field, so long as it is about the game. When it is very personal and vulgar, that is not on.
“I won’t listen to that crap. If they want to play like that, they’ll get it back from us.”
That led Ricky Ponting to step into the ring on Thursday.
“I don’t really care what he has to say to tell you the truth,” Ponting said about Harbhajan. “He has plenty to say on the field and then whenever someone says something back to him he is the first one to run away from it.” Match referee Chris Broad has told the managements of both the teams to restrain their players.