England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's July 16, 2014

'It was good Jadeja did not retaliate' - Dhoni

21

Fifteen minutes after Alastair Cook suggested India were being cheeky in making an official complaint against James Anderson, trying to eliminate their best bowler from the series, MS Dhoni sought to bring attention back to who the victim - so to speak - was. India are known to sidestep these issues and omit to discuss them in press conferences by either banning such questions or putting up a player who is farthest from the events, but this time Dhoni himself addressed the pre-match press conference. He has been known to miss press conferences over lesser controversies.

Dhoni spent the first half of the press conference trying to laugh off questions and repeatedly citing legal requirements to not speak about the incident in detail, but when told of Cook's insinuation, he opened up a little bit. "It's not something that we have done," Dhoni said, showing the first signs of stress. "Let's realise the fact. Like in a press conference you can ask me tough questions. I have the right to answer them or not to answer them, but in no way can I go and touch you. Or you can come and touch me. You can put it in whatever way you want to but there are certain things that need to be followed, and it should be followed."

Dhoni wouldn't talk about the specifics of what happened and where it happened, but made sure he mentioned Ravindra Jadeja was touched, in a manner serious enough for India to consider these charges, and that Jadeja did not instigate Anderson. The ICC's release said the incident happened on the second day of the Trent Bridge Test when the players were walking back for lunch. Dhoni and Jadeja were the unbeaten batsmen, and Anderson had been quite vocal after an appeal was turned down on the first ball of the last over before lunch.

Dhoni appreciated how Jadeja handled the incident, not losing his cool and becoming a victim of what he says has in the past been the opposition's ploy to unsettle their players. "The good thing is it is not something that has happened for the first time," Dhoni said. "It is a constant thing that keeps happening. Frankly, usually, we have been on the receiving end a lot of times where somebody starts something and we retaliate and we get fined or different kinds of offences are levelled against us.

"It was good on Jadeja's part to not really do something. It could have gone a bit far, but I felt he addressed this in the most appropriate manner. That's something we will have to learn and move forward. Someone has to back off at the right time. At the end of the day we play sport and lot of people look up to us, and there is a lot of responsibility on us."

Dhoni insisted on following the guidelines that bar physical contact. "We talk a lot about the spirit of cricket and everything, and there are guidelines that need to be followed," Dhoni said. "There have been a few individuals from our side too in the past that have crossed the line. It's a very difficult one. You can be aggressive, you can be vocal, but there are certain guidelines that are laid out, and we should follow that."

Dhoni was asked what it would do to the relationship between the players of the two sides, and if he feared the series could take an ugly turn. "I am not worried about that," Dhoni said. "Definitely I would like to make sure the remainder of the series is played in the right spirit, but at the same time it is not docile. We want players to be aggressive, say a few things, but at the same time it is very important to not flow with it and cross the boundaries. I think it is our responsibility to play the game in the right spirit. We will try our best to maintain that."

There has been a suggestion that given the ICC reforms that have put the BCCI and the ECB in close partnership, there had been deliberations to resolve this matter without an official complaint, and that it was Dhoni who insisted otherwise. When asked to comment on the speculation, Dhoni said, "Let's talk about the Test match. We are playing at Lord's, and we all know the importance of Lord's."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • willsrustynuts on July 17, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    Having seen the MCC stance on mankading I fully expect them to release a statement in due course outlining how sledging is perfectly OK.

    No one thinks about the fans any more. Even the MCC have become a joke.

  • on July 17, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Sledging in cricket is like playing golf in front of a group of clowns, or playing Pool while your opposition is blowing in your ear, it's a joke, and verbal abuse and sledging is more physical than people realise.

  • wolf777 on July 17, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    I Nothing wrong in on field trash talk. However, physical contact should be dealt with severest punishment to deter future repeat. Plain and simple.

  • GR8GAUR on July 17, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    @gbqdgj: don't jump to conclusions so early. Ind told ICC about the incident and they send their lawyer for some kind of settlement but dhoni was adamant. then ICC had no choice but to intervene. care to view the whole episode then start commenting.

  • gbqdgj on July 17, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    To all, I accept that I made a mistake on the reporting date, but if it was that serious then why nor make the official complaint immediately? And no one has answered the point on perspectives...so what would you view have been?

  • rony_22 on July 17, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    @gbqdgj, before you start with your conspiracy theories, check the ESPN report which clearly states taht the complain was made whithin 24 hours. for a level 3 offence, as mentioned in ICC rule book, the complain is not via match officials. This is not my or Dhoni's opinion, but ICC rules. read the espn article to understand it and educate yourself (I too did the same). On friday ICC tried mediation. but when that failed formal charges were pressed.The press reported it after the test ended. that does not mean that Indian team reported this incident after the test ended on Sunday. http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-india-2014/content/story/760805.html

  • TheOnlyEmperor on July 17, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    The fundamental problem with the BCCI is that it gags the players. Players who have been offended / abused should have every right to speak up not only for themselves but also to ensure that the offense is escalated to merit everybody's attention so that it doesn't get repeated, as also to ensure that the offender is put under an embarrassing spotlight. This will ensure that countries with a culture of sledging and other aggressive behavioural display off and on the filed, will quickly reform their attitude and condition their players to behave better.

  • switchmitch on July 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    We should now coin a new term for physical jousting in sportsmanship's parlance. We should call it physical disintegration, in tribute to the great Waugh who gave us that amazing concept of mental disintegration. For the spectators, pushing and shoving can look like complete denigration of the sport itself but who cares? We need to justify what's done, so, let's give it a new name and shove it into the list of acceptable behavior.

  • cricmatters on July 17, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    I hate sledging in Cricket. It has traditionally been a Gentleman's sport. Most players have shown excellent temperament and sportsmanship except for few individuals who believe that mouthing off your opponent is a useful tactical ploy. Such players are usually repeat offenders and each time they get away with such behavior, gives them further incentive to engage in such tactics again. Cricket Administrators all over the world, should take a serious look at sledging in all formats of the game and try to stamp it out by setting clear guidelines for all players. We don't want to see a boxing match in the middle of a cricket pitch any time soon.

  • u_guys_are_history on July 17, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @gbqdgj : Get your facts right before discussing perspectives. The complaint was made on Friday - within 24 hrs.

  • willsrustynuts on July 17, 2014, 21:15 GMT

    Having seen the MCC stance on mankading I fully expect them to release a statement in due course outlining how sledging is perfectly OK.

    No one thinks about the fans any more. Even the MCC have become a joke.

  • on July 17, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    Sledging in cricket is like playing golf in front of a group of clowns, or playing Pool while your opposition is blowing in your ear, it's a joke, and verbal abuse and sledging is more physical than people realise.

  • wolf777 on July 17, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    I Nothing wrong in on field trash talk. However, physical contact should be dealt with severest punishment to deter future repeat. Plain and simple.

  • GR8GAUR on July 17, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    @gbqdgj: don't jump to conclusions so early. Ind told ICC about the incident and they send their lawyer for some kind of settlement but dhoni was adamant. then ICC had no choice but to intervene. care to view the whole episode then start commenting.

  • gbqdgj on July 17, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    To all, I accept that I made a mistake on the reporting date, but if it was that serious then why nor make the official complaint immediately? And no one has answered the point on perspectives...so what would you view have been?

  • rony_22 on July 17, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    @gbqdgj, before you start with your conspiracy theories, check the ESPN report which clearly states taht the complain was made whithin 24 hours. for a level 3 offence, as mentioned in ICC rule book, the complain is not via match officials. This is not my or Dhoni's opinion, but ICC rules. read the espn article to understand it and educate yourself (I too did the same). On friday ICC tried mediation. but when that failed formal charges were pressed.The press reported it after the test ended. that does not mean that Indian team reported this incident after the test ended on Sunday. http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-india-2014/content/story/760805.html

  • TheOnlyEmperor on July 17, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    The fundamental problem with the BCCI is that it gags the players. Players who have been offended / abused should have every right to speak up not only for themselves but also to ensure that the offense is escalated to merit everybody's attention so that it doesn't get repeated, as also to ensure that the offender is put under an embarrassing spotlight. This will ensure that countries with a culture of sledging and other aggressive behavioural display off and on the filed, will quickly reform their attitude and condition their players to behave better.

  • switchmitch on July 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    We should now coin a new term for physical jousting in sportsmanship's parlance. We should call it physical disintegration, in tribute to the great Waugh who gave us that amazing concept of mental disintegration. For the spectators, pushing and shoving can look like complete denigration of the sport itself but who cares? We need to justify what's done, so, let's give it a new name and shove it into the list of acceptable behavior.

  • cricmatters on July 17, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    I hate sledging in Cricket. It has traditionally been a Gentleman's sport. Most players have shown excellent temperament and sportsmanship except for few individuals who believe that mouthing off your opponent is a useful tactical ploy. Such players are usually repeat offenders and each time they get away with such behavior, gives them further incentive to engage in such tactics again. Cricket Administrators all over the world, should take a serious look at sledging in all formats of the game and try to stamp it out by setting clear guidelines for all players. We don't want to see a boxing match in the middle of a cricket pitch any time soon.

  • u_guys_are_history on July 17, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    @gbqdgj : Get your facts right before discussing perspectives. The complaint was made on Friday - within 24 hrs.

  • sweetspot on July 17, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    I'm quite amazed and surprised and actually thankful Jadeja didn't retaliate. I cannot say the same non-reaction would have come from Yuvraj Singh or Harbhajan! I dread to think what would have happened if it had been Gambhir.

  • gbqdgj on July 17, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    Let's just stop and look at some facts as they are known. Anderson is capable of ripping through any line up in the world when conditions suit him. The conditions in other tests will be more to Anderson's liking. No complaint was raised with the Match Umpire, which is the correct procedure. The alleged incident took place on Thursday. No formal complaint was lodged on Thursday, or Friday. So let's look at it from the other perspective. What would you all be saying if let's say on England's last tour of India a star Inadian player had been alleged to have pushed Joe Root but England did not complain at the time, had ignored the match referee deliberately and chosen to complain to the ICC on who's disciplinary committee two Englishmen were sitting. Dhoni would then say England were only complaining to get their best player banned from the rest of the series. And here's the thing, I think he would be justified in saying exactly that. It's all about legitimate perspectives!

  • ashok1259 on July 17, 2014, 5:04 GMT

    Many people saying that India/Dhoni didn't handle the situation well. In my sense it is cook and England doing wrong here by saying it is India's Tactic. I was sure the discussions failed because of this attitude of England/Cook. They are looking like Brazil who asked for reversal of silva's ban for the semi final. If he didn't know the exact situation then they have to wait patiently for the judgement rather commenting other teams. Cook is not matured to handle this type of situation. It is evident when he out bursted on Butler's dismissal in test with srilanka.

  • parvinder7 on July 17, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    i dont really care about the spirit of cricket. If u win the series u win the battle simple. You can not tell me that cricketers in the past have not said bad things to our indian boys. If anderson pushed jadeja then he has gone too far.

  • thekobra on July 16, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Is it just me who is outraged by Cook suggesting this is a 'tactic'? Clearly something happened. The severity can be questioned, but what might a "docile" push might be no big deal for England but it might be a big deal for India. Cultural perceptions and all that.

  • RandyOZ on July 16, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    We have all known about Anderson's awful behaviour for years; just watch any Ashes series. Somehow the English pundits are completely clueless to it. Frankly it is about time and I hope they throw the book at him. One wonders why he thinks he is so good when his average is 30+!!!

  • ElvisKing on July 16, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    The way Cook is talking about India trying to neutralize their Best Bowler is wrong and this happened on 10th July Thursday. We know that only after the "altercation" at the lunch time that India lost 3 quick wickets after Lunch, batting on jangled nerves and tension. This itself should prove that it did happen as reported by Jadeja and Dhoni. Only thing surprising is that it did make Captain Cool lose his cool and his wicket in process after lunch. Is it not surprising that only when the talks failed ECB is trying salvage its Best Bowler's reputation by filing charges against Jadeja, instead of doing immediately on learning about Anderson charge ? Some thing wrong here !

  • Nampally on July 16, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    I liked the way Dhoni handled this issue with a very factual & simple explanation. It is good to play aggressively but the aggression should be thru' sport not via personal abuse- as "sledging" does. Even Cook admitted that Anderson indulges in much sledging & sometimes it gets better of him when he steps beyond sledging! I don't know if Jadeja's Six off Anderson just before Lunch precipitated this. In any case it is always nice to play Cricket in the right spirit without getting personal. This incident would have dented the cordial relations between the 2 teams. It will be superficially repaired via patchwork. But any patchwork is always a source of weakness & can break down.

  • on July 16, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Dhoni is so good at tackling questions. Reminds me of Kalaignar Karunanidhi! One of the political greats in this regard.

  • on July 16, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    It's good that Dhoni wants to play in the spirit of the game. I'm glad Jadeja handled the situation properly and not foolishly... Hope to see both teams play in the spirit of the game...

  • Herath-UK on July 16, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    Both Sri Lanka & India seemed to have taken a stance not to be pushed around any more that comes out from Dhoni again. I'll agree with him there should be cordial relationship between teams &

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  • Herath-UK on July 16, 2014, 14:35 GMT

    Both Sri Lanka & India seemed to have taken a stance not to be pushed around any more that comes out from Dhoni again. I'll agree with him there should be cordial relationship between teams &

  • on July 16, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    It's good that Dhoni wants to play in the spirit of the game. I'm glad Jadeja handled the situation properly and not foolishly... Hope to see both teams play in the spirit of the game...

  • on July 16, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Dhoni is so good at tackling questions. Reminds me of Kalaignar Karunanidhi! One of the political greats in this regard.

  • Nampally on July 16, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    I liked the way Dhoni handled this issue with a very factual & simple explanation. It is good to play aggressively but the aggression should be thru' sport not via personal abuse- as "sledging" does. Even Cook admitted that Anderson indulges in much sledging & sometimes it gets better of him when he steps beyond sledging! I don't know if Jadeja's Six off Anderson just before Lunch precipitated this. In any case it is always nice to play Cricket in the right spirit without getting personal. This incident would have dented the cordial relations between the 2 teams. It will be superficially repaired via patchwork. But any patchwork is always a source of weakness & can break down.

  • ElvisKing on July 16, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    The way Cook is talking about India trying to neutralize their Best Bowler is wrong and this happened on 10th July Thursday. We know that only after the "altercation" at the lunch time that India lost 3 quick wickets after Lunch, batting on jangled nerves and tension. This itself should prove that it did happen as reported by Jadeja and Dhoni. Only thing surprising is that it did make Captain Cool lose his cool and his wicket in process after lunch. Is it not surprising that only when the talks failed ECB is trying salvage its Best Bowler's reputation by filing charges against Jadeja, instead of doing immediately on learning about Anderson charge ? Some thing wrong here !

  • RandyOZ on July 16, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    We have all known about Anderson's awful behaviour for years; just watch any Ashes series. Somehow the English pundits are completely clueless to it. Frankly it is about time and I hope they throw the book at him. One wonders why he thinks he is so good when his average is 30+!!!

  • thekobra on July 16, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Is it just me who is outraged by Cook suggesting this is a 'tactic'? Clearly something happened. The severity can be questioned, but what might a "docile" push might be no big deal for England but it might be a big deal for India. Cultural perceptions and all that.

  • parvinder7 on July 17, 2014, 2:20 GMT

    i dont really care about the spirit of cricket. If u win the series u win the battle simple. You can not tell me that cricketers in the past have not said bad things to our indian boys. If anderson pushed jadeja then he has gone too far.

  • ashok1259 on July 17, 2014, 5:04 GMT

    Many people saying that India/Dhoni didn't handle the situation well. In my sense it is cook and England doing wrong here by saying it is India's Tactic. I was sure the discussions failed because of this attitude of England/Cook. They are looking like Brazil who asked for reversal of silva's ban for the semi final. If he didn't know the exact situation then they have to wait patiently for the judgement rather commenting other teams. Cook is not matured to handle this type of situation. It is evident when he out bursted on Butler's dismissal in test with srilanka.

  • gbqdgj on July 17, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    Let's just stop and look at some facts as they are known. Anderson is capable of ripping through any line up in the world when conditions suit him. The conditions in other tests will be more to Anderson's liking. No complaint was raised with the Match Umpire, which is the correct procedure. The alleged incident took place on Thursday. No formal complaint was lodged on Thursday, or Friday. So let's look at it from the other perspective. What would you all be saying if let's say on England's last tour of India a star Inadian player had been alleged to have pushed Joe Root but England did not complain at the time, had ignored the match referee deliberately and chosen to complain to the ICC on who's disciplinary committee two Englishmen were sitting. Dhoni would then say England were only complaining to get their best player banned from the rest of the series. And here's the thing, I think he would be justified in saying exactly that. It's all about legitimate perspectives!