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Sreesanth makes Aussies see red
Harish Kotian
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Images: India vs Australia, 2nd ODI
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October 02, 2007 21:49 IST

S Sreesanth's [Images] rollercoaster ride in the second one-day international against Australia on Tuesday in front of his home fans was in many ways a reflection of India's performance too.

- Sparks fly in ill-tempered Kochi ODI

Except for the first 20 overs, India were always behind in the equation as the visitors registered a thumping 84-run victory. A frustrated Sreesanth was involved with several altercations with the Australian players and both while bowling and batting.

Australian captain Adam Gilchrist [Images] was naturally critical of the Indian team's behaviour and felt that some of the actions were pretty childish.

"The guys are playing pretty hard there. I saw some really hard fought cricket, some comments between different players and that happens. I also saw a few things that I wouldn't even expect from my son Harris in the backyard in a game of cricket.... we will move on," he said in Kochi after the match.

"They obviously had an aggressive game plan. They were talking up a very aggressive game and they are showing a lot of aggression and I think that is fine. We expect that from every team we play against," the stand-in Aussie captain added.

His opposite number, Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images], however, felt a little bit of talking is good for everyone and that no one had crossed the limit yet.

"If you are playing the Australian team, you will see chitchat on the field. The spectators also love it. You just go into the field and nobody is saying anything to the other players. Till you don't get personal it's fine. It has been good and hopefully it will be good in the coming matches," he said.

The Australian team were noted for being quite aggressive on the field and for their verbal outbursts, but have made an effort recently to improve their on-field behaviour.

But in Kochi, even the Aussies found it hard to handle the high-flying Sreesanth in front of 60,000 home fans.

Sreesanth even once attempted to get Andrew Symonds [Images] run out unfairly at the non-striker's end as he came down to confront the pacer during an altercation with the striker.

"When he started, I thought Sreesanth was joking. But after a while he is quite serious about it. I went up to him and told him that is not the way you get the batsman out, you get him out some other way. He was excited, he was pumped up, so you expect a guy to behave like that. And of course if it is Sreesanth, you know... ," Dhoni said.

Dhoni has always publicly maintained it takes some task to control Sreesanth on the field at times, but sometimes his aggression was beneficial to the team

He believes that with experience the young pacer will mature and improve his on-field antics.

"As a captain I went up to him to have a chat [during the tussle with Andrew Symonds]. Of course, if you look at Sreesanth now he has changed a lot in the last six months. The Sreesanth that you on the South Africa tour [last year] and if you look at Sreesanth, there is a huge difference. As he continues playing, as he gets more matured, he will fall into line," he said.

While batting, Dhoni's powerful shot crashed straight into Sreesanth's helmet.

"I think it [his head] is okay. He batted sensibly after that," the Indian captain joked.

However, Gilchrist was having none of the jokes, when it came to Sreesanth.

"As I said at the start of the press conference, it was two teams going hard at each other. Sreesanth has been quite outspoken that he is going to take the challenge up to us. He has said a lot of this stuff in the press and we see it, everyone sees it and that's fine. We are questioning that and that is the way he wants to plays his cricket and that is fine and we accept that.

"When we get our chance we will play aggressive cricket too and that is as simple as that," the left-hander said.

India's Twenty20 World victory euphoria is still to die down and Gilchrist said he would better talk about this series than anything else.

"The quicker we move on from this Twenty20, the better it will be because everything gets drawn back to that. Congratulations to India, it was a wonderful victory, beautiful celebrations, we all enjoyed it, we have never seen anything like it. I am more excited by the fact that we are 1-0 up in the series," he said.

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