Sydney, Mar 3 : On the day when the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh clean chit over allegations that he called Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds a monkey, former Aussie captain Allan Border praised the bowler saying he behaved well on the ground.
Border said he didn't notice any gestures, and that the Indian spinner had "handled himself pretty well".
Bhajji was banned for three Tests after Australian players produced evidence that he called Symonds a monkey during the second Test. It was also alleged that he made monkey gestures towards the SCG crowd. News reports quoted a spectator as saying that Harbhajan had motioned to scratch his armpits and also spat towards the crowd after being abused by spectators.
The ICC, however, absolved Bhajji of all the charges against him for want of evidence.
Reacting to the controversy involving the "Turbonator", Border said: "I was over that side of the ground and Harbhajan was copping a fair bit of stick from the crowd. I didn't notice any gestures at all and I thought he handled himself pretty well. I'm not so sure how serious it is."
Border said it was a shame that a great century by Sachin Tendulkar in his farewell tour of Australia was being overshadowed by "a few bits of silliness in the outfield".
Meanwhile, Mike Hussey said he and his teammates knew nothing about the alleged incidents involving Harbhajan. "I haven't heard a single thing about it," the Fox Sports quoted him as saying.
According to him, too much was being made of things away from the game itself. "I think the Australian and Indian public have had enough of all the controversy. We just want to concentrate on the cricket," he added.
Indian team manager Bimal Soni condemned the news reports on Harbhajan, and said he had done nothing wrong. "I think it is wrong. Nothing has been done like that. They are making a mountain out of a molehill. He did nothing. These stories I do not believe them and I strongly condemn them," Soni said.
Soni further said the controversy wasn't distracting the side before tomorrow's game two of the best of three finals series at the Gabba. "We do not talk about it, we only talk about the cricket on the field and we do not want to talk anything about these things," he added.