WHile the Yadavas and Pandavas were on their way to see the horse, someone else was also eyeing it - with evil intentions. King Anushalva, brother of Shalva (who had been killed by Krishna) had arrived there with a huge force and just as Yudhishthira and Krishna were approaching, rode fast and whisked the horse away. Immediately he ordered his army to be arranged in the grdhravyuha (Vulture Formation) and prepared for the eventual retaliation.
On seeing the horse being whisked away in front of his eyes, Krishna became very agitated. He knew this was a challenge thrown at him rather than Yudhishthira. Daruka brought his chariot and Krishna blew his Panchajanya. Krishna assured Yudhishthira (who by now had slipped into his panic mode) that the horse would be somehow brought back.
Krishna then holds out a Bira (a betel leaf preparation) and issues an open challenge that whosoever feels brave enough to fight Anushalva and bring the horse back should take the Bira from his hands.
After a moments' silence both Pradyumna and Vrishketu approach Krishna and agree to take up his challenge. Krishna is happy and gives his blessings to both of them.
Pradyumna and Vrishketu plunged headlong into the enemy ranks and began to decimate them. Anushalva, seeing the them faced Pradyumna first. After a few hot words, both of them begin fighting furiously. Pradyumna struck Anushalva with five arrows. Anushalva responded by hitting Pradyumna on the chest with several arrows. Due to the impact of the arrows, Pradyumna began to feel giddy and almost fainted on the battle field. He was brought to safety by his charioteer . Pradyumna tried to get up , but still feeling faint began to whirl around and fell down in a swoon near Krishna.
Krishna, seeing Pradyumna in that condition, felt ashamed and became very angry. He began to lash out at his son, abusing him with the choicest words. Every one present there trembled on seeing krishna's anger and the treatment he was meting out to his son.
Krishna continued to scold and rebuke Pradyumna saying that while Arjuna could remember his sons with pride, he (krishna) could not say the same. Poor Pradyumna who was cowering under his father's rage and still lying on the ground could do nothing and say nothing. Bhima seeing that Krishna's anger was both unjustified and unwarranted attempted to soothe him. He recounted Pradyumna's valorous deeds in the past and explained that Pradyumna had fainted not due to fear but due to the impact of Anushalva's arrows.
Krishna cools down and Bhima departs for the battlefield where Vrishaketu is holding out on his own.