Anderson provokes Indian ire again
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