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Australian media flay hot-headed Gambhir

Indian opener Gautam Gambhir came in for criticism from the Australian media following his face-offs with Shane Watson and Simon Katich.

cricket Updated: Oct 30, 2008 18:11 IST

Indian opener Gautam Gambhir came in for criticism from the Australian media following his face-offs with Shane Watson and Simon Katich, with newspapers claiming that it revived memories of India's tour Down Under early this year which was marred by ugly confrontations.

Gambhir, who scored a double century, nudged Watson with his elbow, yesterday, while going for a second run on the bowler's delivery and then got involved in a heated exchange with Katich after he tried to stop a shot off his own delivery and seemed to have blocked the left-handed opener's path while he was attempting a single.

"The acrimony which almost destroyed last summer's Test series between Australia and India exploded again on the opening day of the third Test," the 'Australian' reported.

"It continued India's record as the worst behaved team in the world over the past decade," the report went on even as Sydney Morning Herald said "Gambhir elbows Australia out of way".

In the aftermath of India's heated series Down Under, match referee Chris Broad had cautioned both captains on the eve of the first Test in Bangalore and told them to keep a check on emotions and barring Zaheer Khan's penalty for charging down at Matthew Hayden in Mohali, the two Tests have passed off relatively peacefully.

"Gambhir's second century in as many innings has been marred by a physical confrontation with Shane Watson and a heated exchange with Simon Katich which required intervention from umpire Billy Bowden.

"Bowden was forced to stand between Katich and Gambhir after the pair almost collided while Katich unsuccessfully attempted to field off his own bowling, blocking Gambhir's path," the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting attempted to diffuse the tension even as vice-captain Michael Clarke tried to drag Katich away.

Regarding Gambhir's run-in with Watson, Clarke said, "I did see it on replay. I'm pretty sure the match referee or whoever needs to have a look at that will have a look at that."

"Like the incident with Kat, it was important for all the players to make sure we get on with our game," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Gambhir though denied that the elbow poke to Watson was 'deliberate'.

"Gambhir may be small and slender of build but there has been no meekness about his approach to the Australians. He has challenged them on every front, niggling constantly from the infield during the previous Test in Mohali and clashing with them on more than one occasion yesterday," the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Gambhir and Watson have already been charged with violating the ICC Code of Conduct and face a hearing.

First Published: Oct 30, 2008 18:04 IST