India ‘A’ won the final match of the Paytm Triangular series against Australia ‘A’ by 4 wickets with six overs to spare on Friday, with Gurkeerat Mann (87) and Sanju Samson (24) building a responsible partnership to take the hosts to victory. Australia ‘A’ captain Usman Khawaja, however, marred the nature of the victory by alleging that Samson had spat on the fielders during his innings, according to NDTVSports
The incident had its root in the first innings, when Samson had claimed a catch which the Australians felt was not a legal catch. A heated exchange ensued, and it appears that it carried on as Samson came in to bat during a crucial stage of the chase.
It appears that Samson reacted to something one of the opposition side said to him, possibly in an attempt to unnerve him, by spitting on the fielder. The Pakistani-origin captain Khawaja confronted the umpires, who were seen assuring him and trying to calm him down. There has been no action taken against Samson yet.
"Obviously, the guys in our team were disappointed that he claimed he had taken the catch. Today he spit in front of our players foot three times. If you do that the boys are going to get worked up and the umpires were not understanding it. We did try to calm the boys, but they just went on and on," a dejected Khawaja said in the post-match conference.
"I am happy if the batsmen happen to talk back but spitting is not on. He spit on one of our players when he came on to the field, one of the players had said something to him.
“I understand that. If one of our player said something to him, he can say something back but not spitting. It happened during his batting innings," he added.
India were the better team today: Khawaja
Khawaja, however, admitted that his team had been the inferior of the two on the day, saying that Gurkeerat’s innings was the difference between the two teams.
"I do not want to make a big deal about things that happened on the field. I do not want to take away any credit from India. They really played well today and were the better team to have won," he said.
"Unfortunately, incidents like that happen. Some incident happened the other day with one of your bowler (Sandeep Sharma). He was coming back and it was fine. I was happy with that. I have seen it all, it is another game, it does not affect me too much.
"It is always tough to defend a total of 220 runs. We had our chance when the fifth wicket fell but we have to take wickets to win the game. India just batted sensibly. The wicket was up and down and it was not turning massive. If we had few more runs we could strangle them on that kind of wicket.”
Man of the Match Gurkeerat Singh, who came up with a all-round performance of 2-42 and 87 not out, though claimed ignorance in the matter, asserting that sledging is the Australians’ way of playing.
"Actually I didn't even know. They were just talking and I did not hear. I have no idea about that. I think it their style of play and we have a different style of play and we should not get distracted on somebody saying something," he said.