Sreesanth and Harbhajan to clash for the first time since reopening of Slapgate

Apr 17, 2013, 09:38 IST | A Correspondent

A lot of aggression is expected during today's Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals clash

Rajasthan Royal’s pacer S Sreesanth and Mumbai Indians’ Harbhajan Singh will come face-to-face today for the first time after the recent controversy wherein the Kerala pacer recalled the Slapgate eposide all over again via Twitter.

However, MI head coach John Wright played down the possibility of any fireworks when the two hot heads clash tonight for their respective teams. Wright, in fact, claimed that it is the aggressive nature of the game that compels players to behave in an aggressive manner.

Harbhajan Singh and S Sreesanth. Pic/AFP

“Every game is competitive and people like an edge. We have a history with every team and personal matters. You have to be patient and the question is how they play within the rules. Aggression has become part and parcel of the game. Everyone wants to win now and such kind of behaviour is expected with hard competitive games,” said the former India coach.

Sreesanth reopened the 2008 Slapgate chapter a few days ago by revealing that Harbhajan had not slapped him, but elbowed him instead. Sreesanth also went on to accuse Harbhajan of being a ‘backstabbing person.’

Wright meanwhile, spoke of the selection headaches he has at MI. “We have so many talented players like Glen Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal, Nathan Nile, Dwayne Smith and even an experienced Munaf Patel could not be included in the scheme of things. It is important that everybody is happy,” Wright said yesterday. MI will take on the Rahul Dravid-led Rajasthan Royals here today.

Asked about the failure of the Sachin Tendulkar-Ricky Ponting combo atop the order, the New Zealander was quick to defend the duo. “Sachin has played a good knock, but unfortunately he was run out twice. It is too early to say that they have not done well. Here too, we are seen as favourites, but the Royals are a good side and they have played hard and good cricket. It is going to be a tough game,” he said.

On the strategy front, Wright said: “We are looking at one game at a time and have prepared well. We will have to adapt to conditions and the wicket here.” 

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