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Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu share a lighter moment during the same match © IANS

We saw yet another spat in this edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). It all started when Harbhajan Singh allegedly slapped S Sreesanth in the first edition of this cash-rich league, however, later apologised in the dressing room. Virat Kohli vs Gautam Gambhir, Kieron Pollard vs Mitchell Starc: IPL has produced many such on-field fights that made the beautiful game of cricket less gentlemanly. In Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) contest in IPL 2016, we saw Harbhajan being yet again in thick of the action. He badmouthed his teammate Ambati Rayudu when the latter failed to stop the ball at the boundary line.

Watching Harbhajan abusing him, Rayudu walked towards him in anger and confronted him. Harbhajan being the senior tried to calm him down, but Rayudu was in no mood to find a common ground. “To be perfectly frank, it’s not unusual for a bowler to behave the way that Harbhajan did after Rayudu misfielded. It’s actually quite common for bowlers to get aggravated when they see their good work being undone by a lapse in the field, and this wasn’t the first time that Harbhajan had lost his temper at his teammate,” Mohammad Kaif said in his blog kaifsays.com.

Kaif played a number of matches with former India spin legend Anil Kumble. He added, “I remember during my playing days, even a level-headed bowler like Anil Kumble had no tolerance for any mistake in the field. Both Yuvraj and I used to find it very tough to keep the legendary spinner happy. The perfectionist that Kumble is, he would expect flawless play from everyone in the field, and he never had any patience for sloppy work.” VIDEO: Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu involved in exchange of words in IPL 2016

It’s understandable that a bowler vents out his frustration when he goes for runs, but it is equally important for the fielders to back the bowler. “Harbhajan may have been out of line, but Rayudu’s reaction only worsened the situation. As cricketers we are always taught to resolve intra-team differences through patience and understanding – both of which were completely absent in the unfortunate argument. A cricket team is like a family, and family members don’t behave the way that Harbhajan and Rayudu did.”