Harbhajan speaks out

India spinner responds to Matthew Hayden's gibe

Last Updated: 06/03/08 8:16am

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Harbhajan: Focused

Harbhajan: Focused

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India spinner Harbhajan Singh has had a parting swipe at his critics as he leaves Australia.

"Hayden said all that because he thinks he is becoming bigger than me and bigger than the game." Quotes of the week

Harbhajan was at the centre of controversy in Australia after allegedly making a racial slur to Andrew Symonds by calling the opposition all-rounder a monkey.

Aussie opener Matthew Hayden went on to describe the 27-year-old as an "obnoxious weed" and the spinner was then accused of making monkey gestures at the crowd during the first one-day final against Australia.

But having claimed glory in the CB series, Harbhajan insisted his game was none the worse for all the attention.

Domination

"I don't really feel the pressure. I just take it the way things come and I try to stay very cool," Harbhajan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I am not here to make friends and I can't play soft. Hayden said all that because he thinks he is becoming bigger than me and bigger than the game.

"I could have said a lot of things about him but I won't talk about these things in public, we have shown things on the field.

"The best way is to do it out on the ground and we have dominated them, not the other way around.

"We have always given Australia a tough time, a very hard time. We never give them an easy sort of win, we're the only team that does really well against Australia."

Return

Despite all the controversy, Harbhajan also enthused about the possibility of returning to play the world champions in the future.

"The Australians love the sort of people who can compete with them," he added. "Australia has some sort of liking for me in them.

"They boo me and say things at times but it didn't really bother me. The more they will do it, the more I will keep on performing.

"I love Australia and I can't wait to come back and play more good cricket."

Next up for India is a trip to South Africa ahead of the start of the inaugural Indian Premier League.

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