Special Correspondent

Nielsen unhappy with Aussie batsmen

Aussie coach says Ponting had a chat with his men

A section of the crowd taunted Harbhajan at SCG

Brisbane: Australian coach Tim Nielsen said the host will have to “take the game (at Brisbane) by the throat when we have the opportunity.”

The Aussie coach said skipper Ricky Ponting had a chat with his men about what he expected from them as a group after the defeat at the SCG. “It was not just the way we played our cricket, but the way we presented ourselves, the way we go about our things.”

Nielsen was unhappy that the Aussie batsmen had let the initiative slip at the SCG. He added the side had lacked mental strength. “It’s probably the mental side of the game that let us down at SCG. We were on top in a couple of situations and then gave our wickets away.”

Greatest test

The coach said the greatest test before the team was to retain the confidence levels despite the setback in the first final. “The challenge of the elite sport is to fight back,” he said.

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar said on Sunday that India was confident of winning the series in Brisbane. “We have the momentum with us. We have played some good cricket all through the summer,” he said.

No truth

Meanwhile, Match Referee Jeff Crowe, after collecting all the information, did not find any truth in the allegation that Harbhajan Singh reacted angrily at a bunch of spectators who heckled him from the stands on Sunday.

In an ICC media release, Crowe said, “I have investigated the alleged incident with Cricket Australia’s ground security officials after reading the newspaper reports and viewing the related photographs that have been published. After reviewing all the available information, I conclude that there is no need to take any action against Harbhajan.”

Since the Sydney Test, Harbhajan has been booed whenever he has appeared to bat or come in to bowl. On his part, Harbhajan has said the reaction of the crowd only made him stronger.

Crowd taunts

At the SCG on Sunday, a section of the crowd taunted Harbhajan while the spinner was fielding close to the boundary line. Some Australian newspapers added the spinner had spat towards the spectators and made ugly gestures at them.

The Indian camp is of the opinion that everything pertaining to Harbhajan is being blown out of proportion by the Aussie media.

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