Bangalore, Oct 14 : Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan have luckily escaped censure for slanging during the just concluded Bangalore Test, as neither the captains nor the game's International Cricket Council-appointed officials found fault with the duo.
Both had engaged in a lengthy and unsavoury dialogue during the Indian's match-turning partnership of 80 with Harbhajan Singh in the first innings.
According to The Age, the confrontation was initiated by a comment from Haddin behind the wickets, causing Zaheer to carry it on angrily for some time, prompting the intervention of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
Zaheer said he and Haddin had sorted out their differences in the middle. "We all know Aussies do all these kind of things. We settled the matter on the field and did not take it any further."
Ponting said it was a normal chat between the two players. "I've said all along that a bit of chat on the field is fine with me as long as no one is overstepping the mark, and I don't think anyone overstepped the mark at all in this game, so that's a really good thing I think. I think this game's been played in great spirit, both teams out there trying to achieve a result and we've had a drawn Test match," he said.
One lesson Haddin and the Australians are sure to take from the experience is that the hard-nosed Zaheer is probably not the best member of the Indian team to target for a sledge. In 2007, he responded to the insult of having jelly beans left in his path on the crease by summoning a supreme bowling effort to help defeat England at Trent Bridge. In Bangalore too, he went on from the Haddin incident to crack an unbeaten 57, an innings that contributed greatly to thwarting Australia's victory drive.