Mumbai Test: Sparks fly on Day Five between Ravichandran Ashwin and James Anderson

Updated: 13 December, 2016 10:28 IST | Ajit Bezbaruah |

Anderson, Ashwin end Mumbai Test in war of words over Kohli’s poor record in England

When England’s James Anderson walked out to bat yesterday morning, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin gave him a warm welcome, or so it looked like from a distance. It was only when Ashwin started following Anderson to the batting crease could one realise that the exchange between them didn’t look like a very pleasant one. Ravindra Jadeja joined the duo.

Thereon, it became evident that there was something more than what met the eye. It continued for some time till the on-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Bruce Oxenford intervened and brought the situation under control. Later on, India skipper Virat Kohli played the mediator between the conflicting parties. Jadeja’s relationship with Anderson goes back to the Nottingham Test in 2014.

The England quick escaped punishment after his ugly spat with the India all-rounder due to “lack of evidence”, at least that’s what the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) disciplinary committee said. But there was clear video footage showing Anderson pushing Jadeja when he was crossing over for a run. India complained against behaviour, but England filed a counter-complaint suggesting that Jadeja was first to raise his bat and Anderson’s reaction was only on self defence. 

Anderson’s dig at Kohli
During Sunday’s press conference at the end of the day’s play, Anderson, despite England’s poor record against spin in this series, took a dig at the Indian spinners suggesting that they “are not hard to handle”. He also talked about Kohli’s “technical deficiencies” and how they go unnoticed in Indian conditions.

But interestingly, Kohli, who is known for his expressive leadership, played the uncharacteristic mediator in this case.

“For the first time I was trying to calm things down in the middle at a time when James Anderson was involved,” said Kohli. “Ashwin wasn’t pleased with what he said in the press, and I didn’t even know about it. He told me on the ground. I didn’t know what to make of it. I was laughing about it but Ashwin wasn’t too impressed and he let Anderson know. He didn’t use any bad words to do that.

Kohli calms down Anderson
“Ashwin told Anderson that he was pretty disappointed with what he said and it is important to accept defeat. Later on, I told James (Anderson) these things happen and let’s move on,” added the Indian skipper. Defending Anderson, England skipper Alastair Cook said: “It was a bit of a sour end really. It was clearly in reference to what Jimmy had said on Sunday, which has been blown out of all proportions. A disappointing end in terms of how well the spirit between both sides has been played. But he was just stating a fact, which if you asked about Virat is probably quite true. It wasjust ticking up for their captain which was slightly unnecessary.”

Doosra view

So when Jimmy Anderson calls Virat 'a flat track bully'...sore loser is one part. But the other one is he's a bit of a 'flat track woosie'. Funny, the greatest bowlers, Marshall, Garner, Roberts, Imran never ever complained about Indian conditions. In fact, the 80s Windies beat us often here in India. So Jimmy... uhm...

Cricket historian Ramchandra Guha on Facebook

First Published: 13 December, 2016 08:19 IST

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