Tempers flare up as teams tussle for supremacy on docile track

It was a funny sight at the outset. Ravindra Jadeja’s release went awry, and the ball rolled towards Jonathan Trott after pitching a dozen times on Sunday.

The England batsman nonchalantly walked up to the ball, now slithering towards the square leg region, and smashed it for a four.

There were a couple of instances in the 1990s when batsmen played similar shots after the bowler erred in delivering the ball. Australia’s Allan Border whacked West Indian all-rounder Phil Simmons for a six, though on that instance the ball wasn’t pitched, while Kiwis’ Craig McMillan played a shot very similar to Trott’s against England left-arm spinner Phil Tufnell.
Those incidents never sparked a row, but the Indians, trying hard for a wicket, didn’t view Trott’s act kindly.

“It was just that the shot he got away was a rolling ball,” R Ashwin informed the press at the end of the day. But then he rather needlessly poked at the Englishmen, who at any stage didn’t make much fuss. “When you talk about gamesmanship and sportsmanship, we think you should expect the same from opponents.”

Perhaps, he just might have forgotten that the Indians too were guilty of gamesmanship on the day.

The hosts were well within their rights to feel aggrieved after umpire Kumar Dharmasena turned down an appeal for caught behind against Trott off Ishant Sharma. But that in no way justified their behaviour immediately after that over when Ishant, Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli chased the England batsman and tried to rattle him with few words.

Umpire Rod Tucker tried to assuage the Indians and talked to skipper MS Dhoni, perhaps to rein in his players. However, quite strangely Dhoni too adopted an aggressive stand, walking away from the umpire. Though the Jharkhand man exchanged a few good words and smile with Tucker at the end of the day’s play, it remained an unsavoury part of the day.

But Ashwin viewed it as just a normal passage of play. “We are pushing for a win so it was a little (heated). But nothing got out of hand.”

Trott completed a hat-trick of run-ins soon when he and Ashwin were involved in another heated exchange after the offie warned him for backing up too far. Ashwin adopted an eye-for-an-eye stand than resorting to the legal side of the issue.

“I can run him out if he can hit the ball.”

Then he threw further light on his exchange with Trott. “I warned him. He said you can run me out. I said I wouldn’t. I think we have got him enough times. So we can get him out again without resorting to all these methods.”
So, why in the first place did he try the ‘Mankading’ and engage in heated exchanges with Trott?

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