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Vettori not surprised by 'Monkeygate'

Brisbane, Nov 18 (UNI) Lashing out at the Australians for their overtly agressive approach, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said he was not surprised when the 'Monkeygate' issue cropped up during India's tour Down Under earlier this year.

Vettori was of the view that the Australians had always had the habbit of sledging and abusing their rivals but unlike the other teams who used to take it lying down, the Indians matched them blow for blow.

''If a team was going to play the game hard and stand up to everything the Aussies hurled at them, there was going to be trouble,'' Vettori writes in his new book, Turning Point.

''Ponting led his team very aggressively and probably hasn't often had to face an opposition team that's been just as aggressive in response,'' he added. ''I don't think many of us were surprised about the so-called 'Monkeygate' affair.'' Vettori singled out Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds as the ones who are always looking for trouble.

''There are always a few individuals in every team who overstate their position or overplay their importance. Add to the mix Matthew Hayden and Symonds - who are always at you on the field - and you've probably got the three most overtly aggressive players in world cricket,'' he wrote.

''They like to get under the skin of their opponents, whereas the other guys in the Aussie team just get on with the game.'' Recalling a confrontation with Ponting during New Zealand's last visit to Australia he said,''There was another incident with Ponting after we said a few things to Brad Haddin when we believed he was running on the wicket.

''There were a few heated words exchanged and when I later went to the press conference an Australian reporter asked me whether something had happened in the middle and I remember saying, 'Not really. It's just guys running on the wicket but that happens in every single game of cricket'.'' ''That seemed fine but Ponting, as was the case with his treatment of the Indians, seemed to be spoiling for a fight and the next day we had to read a blow-by-blow account in the papers of his version,'' he added.

Vettori's comments come just a couple of days before the first Test against Australia at the Gabba and is sure to increase the tension between the two sides.


Story first published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 11:33 [IST]
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