Indians, Aussies resume war of words

Virender Sehwag said that the world champions' slow scoring and said Ricky Ponting's men were scared of losing the match.

updated: January 31, 2008 17:58 IST
  • Total Shares


After the truce in Perth, the Indian and Australian cricket teams resumed their war of words on Saturday with the visitors saying that the home side was playing defensively as it was "scared" of losing the current fourth Test here and the Aussies hitting back by accusing Indian bowlers of adopting "wide tactics".

Australia, overnight 62 for no loss, made 260 runs in the course of the third day's play, which is well below their usual scoring rate of 300-plus. The home side ended the day at 322 for three wickets, still 204 runs behind India's first innings score of 526.

At the end of the day's play, Indians fielded opening batsman Virender Sehwag at the customary media briefing at which he took a swipe at the world champions' slow scoring and said Ricky Ponting's men were scared of losing the match.

"They are scared and playing very defensively. It's not like Australia (of old). Last time we played them here they made 400 runs in a day," Sehwag said.

"They are worried about defeat, they are scared. It was definitely a surprise considering they lost only three wickets and yet batted defensively on a flat wicket."

"Something is wrong about their batting line-up, their thinking," Sehwag said.

Responding quickly, his Australian counterpart Matthew Hayden, who hit his third century of the series in the course of the day, blamed his side's slow scoring on India's defensive bowling.

"They decided to bowl four stumps outside the off-stump, we had to reach out to play deliveries," a livid Hayden said.

"I would say they adopted wide tactics. It was indicated when they didn't take the second new ball, it was for us to stop scoring. It was perfect for us how not to lose the game.

We didn't have to play the ball," he added.

The bitter exchange of words is bound to open up the Sydney wounds, which seemed to be healing after the calm proceedings in Perth.

The day also had a bit of on field drama with Irfan Pathan having an animated verbal war with Hayden, while old foes Harbhajan Singh and Ponting also seen exchanging a few glares.