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Home > India > Cricket > India's tour of Australia 2007 > Report

Dhoni criticises Australia's behaviour

February 26, 2008 15:40 IST

The simmering feud between the Australian and Indian teams is in danger of boiling over again after Mahendra Singh Dhoni [Images] launched another attack on the home side.

The Indian one-day team captain accused the Australians of provoking his younger team mates into misbehaving by sledging them during matches.

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma was fined for his "send off" of Andrew Symonds [Images] during Sunday's tri-series match in Sydney but Dhoni said he was provoked by the Australian all-rounder.

"He only reacted to what Symonds said to him," Dhoni told reporters in Hobart on Tuesday.

Symonds has denied provoking Sharma, telling Australian media on Tuesday that he had congratulated Sharma on a fine piece of bowling but the Indian misunderstood his gesture.

Sharma was the third Indian to be found guilty of breaching the sport's code of conduct during their troubled tour of Australia but Dhoni said his players are not to blame for their actions.

However, the Indian skipper admitted some of his younger players need to learn how to properly respond to any taunts.

"If you're getting provoked then there are ways in which you can reply so you have to be careful about it," he said.

"We have youngsters in the side who will learn all these arts. I think it's an art. You have to be good at it."

Australia fast bowler Brett Lee [Images] dismissed suggestions there is any lingering bad blood between the teams, insisting the players got on well off the field.

"As soon as we walk over that white line we're competitive and we're playing as hard as we possibly can," Lee said.

"But I can tell you that off the field there has been some amazing friendships formed over the past couple of months.

"We've got some great mates in the Indian side."

Dhoni said India also liked to play the game hard but there is little room for friendship.

"Cricket can never be friendly," Dhoni said.

"There will always be aggression on the field but as long as it's balanced and nobody crosses the line, then it's fair enough."

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