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'This could be the start of a new Harbhajan'
India's pace bowling sensation Zaheer Khan [Images] on Monday revealed why he got upset while batting and walked towards Kevin Pietersen [Images] and pointed his bat at him on Day 3 of the second Test at Trent Bridge.
Describing England's [Images] behaviour as "insulting", Zaheer said jelly beans, a type of confectionery, were thrown at him the moment he arrived at the crease on Sunday, as India sat comfortably in the driver's seat on their way to 483 all out in the first innings in reply to England's score of 198.
"There was some incident that happened on the field while I was batting. On the crease there were some jelly beans; while I was batting I just tucked one off the wicket. So when I played the next ball again some jelly beans were there on the wicket so, obviously, someone was throwing them from behind on the wicket, which I didn't liked.
"So I went up to and said to them, 'Guys what is this all about? I am here to play cricket', and so they came up to me. I was upset about it and I reacted accordingly," he said in Nottingham on Monday.
India are on the verge of victory in this match, having reached 10 for no loss, chasing a target of 73. And it is Zaheer who is responsible for the position the team is in. He took five wickets in the second innings for a match tally of 9 wickets for 134 runs.
During his knock in the first innings, Zaheer exchanged a few words with the England fielders before walking up to Pietersen with his bat.
"I didn't know exactly from where it [jelly beans] were coming. Maybe I picked the wrong one [player] but I was just not bothered at that time, because I felt it was insulting. I wasn't sure from where it was coming but, definitely, it came from a fielder, because if it was placed unknowingly then it shouldn't have come again when I removed it. It came there again which I didn't like," Zaheer added.
The 28-year-old dismissed theories that England could have done it just for fun.
"We are here to play cricket; that's what we are looking forward to do in the whole series. When I go there on the cricket field I am serious. I am there to play cricket, to play good cricket, nice, hard quality cricket. This is Test match cricket we are playing here and I don't see it any other way," he said.
Meanwhile, England batsman Paul Collingwood [Images] brushed off the entire incident and even made a joke of it, saying: "Zaheer obviously came in and wasn't too pleased. Maybe he prefers the blue ones than the pink ones, to be honest with you.
"You are always going to enjoy aggression when two teams want to win so much. You are always going to enjoy competition in the middle as long as it doesn't go overboard. This is certainly not anything new; it has been going for years," the England ODI captain added.
At the end of the day, England's unfair sporting tactics became clear but it didn't impact the result in anyway. India were the better team throughout the match and deserve to warp it up on the fifth day and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, which has one match to go.
Of course, England sure must be frustrated after missing out on winning the first Test at Lord's because of rain. But, then, in cricket not everything goes the way you want it to.
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