Melbourne:Australian opener Matthew Hayden was happy that the ongoing Test series between his side and the Indians was being played in good spirit on and off the field but said he would have been disappointed had Zaheer Khan not been punished for sending him off during the Mohali Test.
Zaheer was fined 80 per cent of his match fee for circling Hayden and shouting at him as the burly Australian strode off after his second-innings dismissal by Harbhajan Singh, and Hayden said the Indian pacer deserved it.
"I just think there is a certain way that cricket is expected to be played. I think we would have been disappointed if something hadn't happened to Zaheer," Hayden said.
"Put the shoe on the other foot -- if that is Ricky Ponting running from deep extra cover to fine leg to offer Sachin Tendulkar a word of advice on the way off, what's going to happen?" he was quoted as saying by the 'Herald Sun'.
Hayden said match referee Chris Broad had handled the two teams well in the wake of tensions during India's tour of Australia early this year.
"There has only been a few instances really of challenges to the spirit of cricket and they have been dealt pretty well by 'Broady'," Hayden said.
"We were saying this last year as well -- it's not tiddly winks. It's India playing Australia and it should mean a lot to you. There should be passion, it should be evident there is friction and tension on the field. It's not park cricket.
"The expectations of us is that it has got to be done in a way that is within the laws and spirit of the game."
The left-handed batsman credited the Indian Premier League for breaking down the barriers between two two sides.
"There has been good spirit on the field and a good spirit off the field, and I reckon IPL has definitely contributed to that," he said.