Controversial spinner Harbhajan Singh further deepened the animosity between India and Australia on Thursday when he called Matthew Hayden “a big liar” and Adam Gilchrist “no saint.”
The Indian has been in the headlines on the acrimonious tour of Australia ever since he was banned for three matches for allegedly racially abusing Andrew Symonds during the second Test in Sydney in January.
The suspension was later overturned following an appeal hearing, but the relations between the two sides deteriorated as Hayden called Harbhajan an “obnoxious weed” on radio during the subsequent one-day series.
Harbhajan said he was upset when Hayden and wicketkeeper-batsman Gilchrist both supported Symonds in the racial row. “Don’t talk about Hayden’s credibility, he is a big liar,” Harbhajan told the Delhi-based tabloid Mail Today.
“He (Gilchrist) is also not a saint. He, of course, pretends to be a saint — someone who doesn’t say an offensive word on the field. “But this is completely wrong. There are times when he doesn’t let an opportunity go (to) waste,” Harbhajan said, adding Gilchrist said nasty things on the field.
Gilchrist, who earned the reputation of being a “walker” during his illustrious career, retired from international cricket after the triangular finals, won 2-0 by India on Tuesday. Sri Lanka, knocked out earlier, were the third team in the fray.
Harbhajan described Australia as an “arrogant side” but added he never expected they would give his team “so much crap” on the field. “The whole world knows how the Australians target individual players to break their confidence. This was not new for us either, but calling me a racist was something we never expected,” he said.
“When we had enough of it, we also gave them back and they started complaining to the umpires about me. It was stunning… how low they can stoop to break a player’s confidence.” The off-spinner was, however, all praise for Brett Lee, saying the Australian fast bowler was different from his team-mates.
“Lee never spoke in the same manner as the rest of his team-mates. He never uttered any nonsense to us and kept visiting our dressing-room even after Sydney,” he said. Harbhajan said he was happy his side gave a fitting response to Australia by capping their testing tour with a stunning victory in the one-day finals.
“It was like Harbhajan v Australia after that (Sydney Test). It was, of course, very difficult to focus on cricket,” he said. “I was proud of the way our team played and I believe we have the potential to be the number one side in the world.”
Harbhajan has been a thorn in Australia’s flesh since 2001 when he claimed 32 wickets in three home Tests to play a key role in ending their 16-match winning streak under Steve Waugh.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Australia, Harbhajan Singh, India, Matthew Hayden
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