England v India, 3rd Investec Test, Ageas Bowl, 4th day July 30, 2014

Anderson provokes Indian ire again

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James Anderson was been involved in another incident with an Indian player, at the end of the fourth day's play at the Ageas Bowl.

Anderson, who faces an ICC hearing on Friday having been charged with a Level Three offence following an alleged altercation with Ravi Jadeja during the Trent Bridge Test, exchanged irate words with Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane following the final delivery of the day.

While the incident in itself amounted to little - Rahane reacted angrily to some comments uttered by Anderson and umpire Rod Tucker stepped in to tell both players to calm down - it does reflect India's irritation with Anderson and underlines the impression that they intend to take a zero tolerance view towards him in the future.

Anderson has, in general, been a great deal less vocal since the charge was made and the incident will have no direct bearing on the hearing. But it will do him few favours as India attempt to outline a pattern of behaviour and Rahane's outraged response will not have been lost on Australian judge Gordon Lewis, who will preside over the hearing.

While attempts have been made to deal with the Jadeja situation without the necessity of a hearing, the India camp have insisted that Anderson overstepped the mark at Trent Bridge - they allege he made physical contact with Jadeja - and feel that his on-field sledging has exceeded acceptable limits in recent years. Anderson faces a ban of up to four Tests if the charge is upheld.

It was a sour end to what should have been a special day for Anderson. Not only was it his 32nd birthday, but he completed his first five-wicket haul in more than a year in the morning when taking the final two wickets of the Indian first innings.

The outcome of the Anderson hearing might also be relevant to the series between Australia and India later in the year. While the England and Australia teams appear relatively comfortable with a certain level of verbal intimidation, it could be that India are taking a stand on the sledging issue.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • eggyroe on July 31, 2014, 18:17 GMT

    Sledging has and always will be a part of Test Match Criicket since day one,if the modern players are unable to play the game with a fair amount of friendly banter then the best they can do is retire from the game and let the men procede with the game without interference from people with have weak minds.

  • East_Ender on July 31, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    The point is that like it or not sledging has become a part of Test Cricket and is not currently against the rules. As for the imminent hearing it should come down to facts. Both sides appear to have witnesses who saw different things, principally involving the way Jadeja was holding his bat. It would appear strange to turn towards someone and keep one's bat under the arm as seen by M S Dhoni. Reports from Ben Stokes and Prior seem to suggest something different. In the absence of any forensic evidence it's a case of either confusion or misrepresentation. Either way it is difficult to see how a fair judgement could be made.

  • Boycott_Boycott on July 31, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    I think opposition batsmen have a right to get irritated. Sledging is not Anderson's birthright. I remember the incident where an Australian bowling great named McGrath said something to Sarawan which wasn't pretty and the response was not gentlemanly either. So who decides the line where it is okay and where not? It is therefore ideal that the sport everybody recognizes as played by gentlemen, should not allow the language of cavemen to be allowed. If that is allowed then it won't be long before the pitch will see some rugby like tackles with the bat of course. Then the administration will ban the offended and the offending both when it should not occur in the first place.

  • dunger.bob on July 31, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    @ Tharindu Jayasuriya: Exactly right. You don't get much time to breathe, let alone sledge in a high level tennis match. A lot of the alleged sledging is nothing more than a conversation among the slippers and keeper. The TV camera's often zoom in on players saying something and the immediate reaction from lot's of folk is to think he's sledging. .. He may be or he could be talking about last nights movie. Who knows. I seem to recall Mark Waugh saying he enjoyed the banter from behind the stumps because a lot of the stuff that was said was genuinely funny. People rarely got too personal he reckons.

    I sometimes wonder if stuff gets misinterpreted because of cultural/language misunderstandings. I'm not saying Andersons case is like that, but I think some of them could be. With Anderson, I get the feeling that this is going to be a test case that might end up in some manual. .. the bloke definitely has form with sledging. .. cont.

  • Raghu_Y on July 31, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    I dont agree that sledging is part of the game. Any sport should be a test of the skills required to play it and not the resilience to ignore filth uttered against you. If you say this is game plan it does not sound right. Today you ask the player to ignore the comments. Humans are not made that way. They are sensitive to what is said. Also what is said in one country may be completely upsetting in another country. Each player has different sensitiveness. Remember how Mcgrath got furious with what Ramnaresh Sarwan said. Having watched Rahane play for last few years I take his side as he just plays the game so calmly and have never seen him lose his temper before this.

  • SinSpider on July 31, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    The main problem is that ICC allows AND does not allow sledging. It does not realise that this sort of Yes and No approach will only do harm. Either you have it OR you dont have it.

    As many others feel, there should be an absolute ban on any form of sledging. Australians have shown the world time and time again, how you can misuse the facility by calling it "aggression" and "passion".

    Let the players show their talent by bowling and batting rather than the choice of words.

  • Harlequin. on July 31, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    I have never been one for sledging whilst I am playing - the level I play at makes sledging seem a little daft. But I have been sledged fairly often whilst batting, and to be honest, it has often made me more determined. I truly believe that verbals are only abusive if you decide they are. Rahane could have decided to dismiss whatever Anderson said as the opinions of an irate, wound-up fast bowler, thus making the words meaningless.

    Teams plan who they will sledge, they will make note of people they don't want to, it is part of the tactics of the game as much as planning to bowl wide of off-stump. To me, banning sledging is like banning aggressive short-pitched bowling.

    Also, the analogies made here with other sports don't work. Sledging in tennis would be ridiculous because the players are too far apart. and as for Kuruppaths suggestion that no verbals are involved in rugby.... well YorkshirePud answered that one a lot more tactfully than I would have done.

  • dummy4fb on July 31, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    What is wrong with Anderson? Not like he isn't in enough trouble already.

  • dummy4fb on July 31, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    Cricket is a game which has lot of idle time. After a ball is delivered there is a much time to do sledging, or while a ball is delivered closing fielders can do it. Main reason for Sledging in cricket and it is not there in Other sports should be due to that.

  • prudhvirazz on July 31, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    ICC should look at much harsher punishments if found guilty. Ban for an year will send a strong message across the teams. Players should show their aggression with the bat or ball not mouths. This is sick, hurling abuses at other player.

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