Melbourne:Gautam Gambhir does not regret elbowing Shane Watson during the just-concluded Test series as he claims the Australian had it coming after foul-mouthing him repeatedly but the man who took the blow says the Indian is no "Mr Perfect" either.
"He's obviously not Mr Perfect," Watson shot back when asked to react on Gambhir's recent comment that he was pushed into crossing the line by persistent Aussie sledging during the third Test in Delhi.
Gambhir was banned for a Test for his actions while Watson was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for provoking Gambhir.
The tension between the two notwithstanding, Watson says he enjoys facing up to the Indian opener and a bit of "banter" is fine in the heat of the moment.
"...he's a great competitor, he batted extremely well against us. I actually love playing against him because you know it's going to be a big dog-fight to get him out.
"People don't want to see robots who don't show any emotion. They want to see people having a go," the 27-year-old explained.
Among the many problems that plagued the Australian team in India while they were drubbed 0-2 was a constant battle with over-rates.
Watson says the world champions were not entirely at fault for the sluggish over-rate as Indian batsmen sometimes took too long a time to face up.
"Maybe making you wait (to bowl) is a way to maybe get under your skin. As a bowler I was ready to go quite a few times and they took time to face up," Watson was quoted as saying by 'The Sunday telegraph'.
"There's no doubt we've got to fix it, because we don't want to have the same situation as we did having to make up overs and costing ourselves a Test match win," Watson added.
Poor over-rate prompted skipper Ricky Ponting to employ part-time bowlers at a crucial juncture of the deciding fourth Test. Critics argue that Ponting let go a chance to draw the series with that decision but Watson says he stands by his captain's call.
"Of course I wanted the ball because there was an opportunity, that hour was crucial. But on the flip side, I back Ricky 100 per cent in every decision he makes," Watson asserted.
The Australians fared poorly in India but Watson was one the top performers for the team with both bat and ball.
The performance is likely raise his stock and he thanked the Indian Premier League for giving him an opportunity to rediscover himself at a time when injuries were threatening to mar his career.
"I'm a lot more in control of what I'm doing now, where I'm bowling the ball, what my plans are to get batsmen out.
"There's no doubt that IPL was the big catalyst to give me an opportunity back in the Australian one-day team to start with. But I'd give anything to be able to play for Australia," Watson said.
At USD 150,000, he was considered a bargain buy in IPL's inaugural season this year but Watson is confident of getting a lot more next year.
"Money is a nice bonus, and that's what the IPL presents. But we're very blessed to have the opportunity we do, playing cricket for Australia, and we're very well looked after.