England v India, 2nd npower Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day August 1, 2011

Dhoni's move should set an example - Strauss

Andrew Strauss hopes that MS Dhoni's gesture to allow Ian Bell to resume his innings following the controversial run-out, at tea on the third day at Trent Bridge, will prompt other captains to uphold the spirit of cricket.

The series threatened to descend into acrimony when Bell was given out the last ball before the interval, when he started to walk off the field before 'over' was called having thought he'd scored a boundary. He admitted to being naive and stupid, but India themselves had concerns about the situation as they met in the dressing room and were in deep discussion before Strauss and Andy Flower asked them to reconsider.

"It was very commendable that they changed their mind and took back the appeal," Strauss said. "It's one of those circumstances where there are always shades of grey but I think it was good for the game of cricket. In years to come it will be looked upon as a step in the right direction for the game of cricket and hopefully other people will follow those decisions.

"I think one of the things that has set the game of cricket slightly apart from other sports is that you have the opportunity to show some spirit. It's good for the game of cricket going forward and therefore the game of cricket is the better for it."

Strauss has been involved in recalling a batsman to the crease when he allowed Angelo Mathews to resume after he was given run-out following a collision during a Champions Trophy match in 2009. He agreed that, by the Laws, Bell was run-out although he felt that the fact that he wasn't trying to take another run was a factor in his defence.

"When it first happened there was a lot of confusion, and myself and Andy went down to the umpire's room as we just wanted to clarify the situation as regards to the Laws of the game," Strauss said. "We were entirely comfortable that in the strict rules of the game Ian was out. [But] we felt that it was pretty clear that he was just walking off for tea and wasn't attempting a run and so we asked India to reconsider their appeal and then left it at that."

Dhoni confirmed that the Indians had reservations about the dismissal which "didn't feel right" and took the chance to say that more could be done by the game as a whole to uphold the spirit of cricket which he felt wasn't being applied consistently.

"We weren't feeling good at heart," he said. "A similar kind of incident happened in West Indies when VVS Laxman got stumped. After we took the decision we were really satisfied. There are a lot of things where spirit of cricket should be followed. It needs to be equal but it's about what we feel as a team is important.

"If a fielder takes a one-bounce catch he's called a cheat but if a batsman stands after nicking it he isn't," Dhoni added. "Going up to a batsman and swearing isn't in the spirit of cricket. We've seen quite a few things happen. If you want to follow you should follow it 100%."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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