Sydney: Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh believes batsman Matthew Hayden’s remarks against him indicates that the Australians are losing their status of being “undisputed champions”.
"Maybe, they realise that they no longer are the undisputed champions of the world. Maybe, they feel the crown is slipping. Otherwise, why a cricket veteran would ask a 19-year-old (Ishant Sharma) to join him in a ring?" Harbhajan told PTI.
Hayden, in an interview to ‘Brisbane Radio’ on Tuesday, called Harbhajan an "obnoxious little weed" and challenged Sharma "into a ring".
FAIR PLAY: Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh says Australia is provoking his team.
Harbhajan refused to comment on Hayden, saying: “I don't want it to be a slanging match".
"But you only need to speak to international cricketers and international teams to know in what opinion they hold Hayden," he said. Hayden’s remarks were "one more instance of what our hosts have been up to all this summer.”
Harbhajan was also surprised at the Hayden's statement that Indians kept complaining against Australia "because they are losing every game they are playing".
"Really, you think so? I would have thought we are the only ones who have got the Australians on the run this summer," he said.
Cricket Australia (CA) held an emergency meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday to discuss if Hayden had breached rules as the Board has the authority to stop its contracted player from commenting on television, radio or print if it feels that it is not in good taste about an opposition players or Board.
The word from CA on its meeting though is awaited. Besides Hayden getting embroiled with Harbhajan and Ishant, there was another specific incident of Ricky Ponting having a go at Harbhajan during the game between the two teams in Adelaide on February 17.
Apparently, Ponting kept having a go at Harbhajan in Adelaide, asking him "to show what he had got" in the middle. Harbhajan, on his part, had then cheekily remarked: "Mate, whatever I have shown in the middle has been better than yours' in the series so far."
It appeared to have stung the Australian captain who asked Harbhajan to "f... off" after the latter was dismissed. A departing Harbhajan, on hearing so, stopped and turned round only to see Ponting disappear among celebrating Aussies.
"They do it so well," Harbhajan said grudgingly "they keep the back to you when they have something nasty to say to the opponent."