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I can't play soft: Harbhajan

The Indian off-spinner leaves Australia with a parting swipe by saying he will not tone down his on-field behaviour.
Reuters | By HT Correspondent, Sydney
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2008 10:58 PM IST

India spinner Harbhajan Singh left Australia with a parting swipe to his critics and opponents by saying he would not tone down his on-field behaviour.

Harbhajan was at the centre of much controversy on India's tour of Australia, becoming embroiled in a racism row after allegedly calling Andrew Symonds a monkey.

Australia's Matthew Hayden was reprimanded for describing Harbhajan as an "obnoxious weed" and the spinner was also reported to have made monkey gestures at the crowd during the first one-day final against Australia.

"I don't really feel the pressure. I just take it the way things come and I try to stay very cool," Harbhajan was quoted as saying in Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald.

"What people were saying about me...I am not here to make friends, and I can't play soft."

Harbhajan said Hayden's comments had only inspired his team.

"What made (Hayden) say all that -- he thinks he is becoming bigger than me and bigger than the game," he said.

"I could have said a lot of things about him but I won't talk about these things in public, we have shown things on the field.

"The best way is to do it out on the ground and we have dominated them, not the other way around."

"We have always given Australia a tough time, a very hard time. We never give them an easy sort of win, we're the only team that does really well against Australia."

Despite all the controversy, Harbhajan said he had enjoyed the tour.

"The Australians love the sort of people who can compete with them," he said. "Australia has some sort of liking for me in them.

"They boo me and say things at times but it didn't really bother me.

"The more they will do it, the more I will keep on performing.

"I love Australia and I can't wait to come back and play more good cricket."

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