Sonepat, Feb 5 (IANS) Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh Saturday blasted former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden, who in his autobiography wrote that the bowler and ex-India captain Sourav Ganguly chickened out of the 2004 Nagpur Test due to a green track.
Harbhajan said it is a ploy by Hayden to sell his book.
“I don’t know why he (Hayden) made such claims. I got him out several times in my career and why would I be scared of facing the Australians when I have done well against them. I have proved my worth playing 93 Tests. I think it is a good way for him to sell his book,” Harbhajan said on the sidelines of a promotional event.
In his autobiography ‘Standing My Ground’, Hayden wrote: “When Ganguly and Harbhajan went out to see the deck a couple of days before the game, they looked like farmers inspecting crops after a hail storm. We predicted neither would play, and they did not. We put their ailments down to acute cases of ‘greentrackitis’, where you develop a severe intolerance to green wickets likely to give you nothing as a spin bowler and plenty of headaches as a batsman.”
Asked if the Australians are playing mind games by making such comments ahead of the World Cup, Harbhajan said: “We do not get affected by all these comments. It is not surprising to hear these things just before the World Cup.”
Harbhajan said he was looking to avenge the loss of the 2003 World Cup final against Australia this time.
“They have a strong unit but I am looking forward to compete against them. They are playing well and have beaten England convincingly in the ongoing ODI series. So, it will be tough to beat them,” he said.
Harbhajan also lashed out at former India coach Greg Chappell saying the former Australian captain divided the team during his two-year tenure.
“We all know what happened when Chappell was the coach. His coaching policies divided the players and the team’s performance was the worst in my memory,” said Harbhajan.