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

Anderson provokes Indian ire again

29

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.

  • on July 31, 2014, 9:34 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • on July 31, 2014, 9:34 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • Joyce1952 on July 31, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    As none of us hear what was said by either player, we are just speculating, perhaps the nonsense between Jadaja and Anderson would not have happened if the on-field umpires stopped any and all "sledging" the way Dickie Bird and Steve Davies used to.

  • on July 31, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Honestly I don't understand why the ICC doesn't put in a rule and stamp out this kind of ridiculous behaviour. Cricket is a sport played with hands and feet, not mouths. Its not a debate after all. Its also supposed to be a gentleman's game and spewing obscenities at the opposition is in no way gentlemanly. Ban one or two players who can't control their mouths and the rest will fall in line. It has always been my view that players who resort to words to unsettle the opposition do so because they have no real cricket skills or talents. Put a rule to stamp it out completely and we can avoid unnecessary incidents like this. Just my humble opinion.

  • WalkingWicket11 on July 31, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    If Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can become top-class players and fierce competitors without having to "sledge" or otherwise abuse their opponents before, during or after the game, then why can't cricketers do the same?

  • on July 31, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    In my opinion, any kind of sledging is WRONG. Honestly, the thing that irritates me more than the sledging is the people trying to justify it. It's not competitiveness. If you want to know competitiveness, then see the great West Indian fast bowlers, Harsha Bhogle said on air yesterday that when he played there, not even one of them would say anything. They would bowl short, bowl fast, but no verbal assaults. They had confidence in their bowling and knew they didn't need to do anything extraordinary to get any batsman out. I personally think when a bowler sledges a batsman, it's a clear sign that he has accepted defeat, that he realises he needs to anger the batsman, divert his attention or do something to get him to play a wrong shot. It reeks of desperation. Yuvi showed Broad the ill effects of sledging at Hobart, and at Lords, Jadeja showed some too. On field sledging isn't new, but pushing/shoving a player when off the field is not tolerable and should not be tolerated.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 31, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    @Kuruppath Balakrishnan, have you watched much rugby, I can tell you that there is often a lot of verbal between players, and occasionally the odd fist/elbow flying as well.

  • o-bomb on July 31, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    Anyone else think India is being a bit too precious about this? So a few words were said, big deal. A few words have always been said. Every team does it at that level and for one team to complain this much about another is hypocricital. I'm sure India gives as good as it gets on the field so why must they make such a big deal about it?

  • Spartacus_Aardvark on July 31, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    If Anderson said anything excessively offensive then surely Rod Tucker would make some kind of report to David Boon, the match referee. Without knowing what was actually said then we are all speculating. Has Rahane been overly sensitive to some run-of-the-mill sledging? Did Anderson overstep the mark? Who knows!!

  • ooper_cut on July 31, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    @Hardy1, fully agree with you. During the course of play, players can get excited and say somethings to intimidate. These things are happening at the close of play or session. What way is it related to the game ?

  • on July 31, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    @ Jose Puliampatta on (July 31, 2014, 2:25 GMT):

    Jose, rilliantly put. This non-cricketing nonsense has to stop. Has any non-Indian in these columns seen Kabaddi, a highly competitive and physical game; as competitive and physical as Rugby. These games (like Rugby) are played without any such verbal nonsense. I get sick and tired of seeing this going on, in cricket all the time. And it makes me feel worse when fans (of all nationalities) support such idiocy, paraded around as as an expressions of competitiveness. The worst is the opinion that implies that it is part of fast bowlers armory. "Oh, he is a quick bowler" sort of stuff.

  • MelFerns69 on July 31, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    Very surprised to see comments here condoning, even trying to justify, this behavior. It is apparent that Mr. Anderson has serious behavioral / attitude issues which incite him to trigger such confrontations that are both verbal and, now allegedly, physical as well. Yes, it is a very competitive out in the field...but the competition should be restricted to a battle of cricketing skills. Resorting to such overtly inciting verbal confrontation reflects poorly on the individual and dramatically deflects all attention away from his wonderful performance with the ball..and bat! It also reflects on the Team Leader..who tacitly approves this behavior in interests of short term gains for himself and his team rather than the ensuring the Game is played in the right Spirit.

  • CodandChips on July 31, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    I don't mind a bit of sledging, but there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Since we don't know what Anderson said, we don't know where he stands so shouldn't praise no condemn him too hastily.

    If he gets banned, he might get the well needed rest from this ridiculous schedule, and this might help him be fresh for the world cup. Considering Anderson is 4th in the ODI rankings, this would be no bad thing at all.

  • jimbond on July 31, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    Best response by India would be to hang on for a draw here. Which seems very unlikely given the mindset of the Indian batsmen. BTW India have done no favours to England by giving away their wickets to Ali. This sort of artificial success will give England confidence to keep on playing with three and half bowlers and Ali- which would backfire against better teams. What allows England to get away with a poor bowling attack is the fact that the Indian attack is worse. Against a stronger bowling team, England's bowling also will get exposed.

  • backwardpoint on July 31, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    Cricket is much more mental and pretty limited when it comes to physical stress. Sledging has been a historical part of the game and it makes it look brilliant most times and look banal and irritating the rest of the occasions. Lets move on with the game. That's most important. Sledging cant be stopped. Period. Regardless of how many offences are seen and how strict the authorities get. Its a competitive game for gods sake... and there are various kinds of people. A few are thoughtful, and a few tend to get under the skin. Unless they want to see the competitive instinct getting cut off, taking away sledging isn't a safe option. Get used to it and learn to survive. A thick skin helps.

  • on July 31, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    I am so glad that India seem to be taking a stand on this non-cricketing behavior, which is going on unabated for so long, further re-inforced by a fancy phrase "mental-disintegration", executed verbally, and quite overtly.

    India's main partners in the self proclaimed powerful trio are the most guilty in this regard. Any neutral observer would agree on that. Of course, every other team also started giving back in kind. But, that is more a response to the aggravated verbal assault over very many years.

    Stop this nonsense and get on with cricket. If Wimbledon can sustain its glory AND competitive edge without resorting to that, Cricket too can. So, don't give the excuse that it is part of the game. Or, cricket will lose its "charm"! What charm? Cricket's charm lies in the intense contest between the bat and ball; not in verbal duels and legalistic & administrative posturing.

  • jmcilhinney on July 31, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    I would agree that Anderson overdoes it on the sledging but I'd also say that he's not the only one. I'm not a big fan of sledging at all and I think that bowlers look stupid standing mid-pitch mouthing-off at batsmen. If India want to curtail it then I'm with them on that. I'm not going to support making an example of Anderson as a means to do it though. If he did initiate a physical confrontation with Jadeja, which is certainly not assured, then he deserves to be punished appropriately for that. Anything he has said on the field should have no bearing on that though, including this incident. If the umpires haven't had to report anything Anderson has said then it's within what's allowable. Whether what's allowable is appropriate in another matter.

  • nkoch on July 31, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    This nonsense has to stop. Agreed fast bowlers are hostile and aggressive on the field but carrying it over on way to dressing room is simply ridiculous. Rahane is probably the calmest of 22 on the field, 24 if you add men in coat. Anderson on the other hand is most animated bowler out of 10 from both sides combined. He should be punished for this behavior to set an example for himself and others like him.

  • chuchan on July 31, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    Sledging in all forms should go, let's give the game back its grace and talking of grace, why can't the ICC ban on-field spitting-such a rampant scourge-which is shown 'live' by all TV channels for the edification of all young watchers?

  • Hardy1 on July 30, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    The thing that gets me a bit about the Trent Bridge incident & now this is it happened during a break/end of play. OK sledging is a part of the sport for better or worse but what's the need to take it on beyond the end of play? Plus it just takes the focus away from how well he's bowled this match. Maybe he has an inkling he won't play in the last 2 matches & wants to get a word in. Unfortunate but hey, it does definitely add something extra to the series.

  • danmcb on July 30, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    pffft. So he's a quick bowler and he gets a bit verbal at times. Please. Can we just get on with the game?

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  • danmcb on July 30, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    pffft. So he's a quick bowler and he gets a bit verbal at times. Please. Can we just get on with the game?

  • Hardy1 on July 30, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    The thing that gets me a bit about the Trent Bridge incident & now this is it happened during a break/end of play. OK sledging is a part of the sport for better or worse but what's the need to take it on beyond the end of play? Plus it just takes the focus away from how well he's bowled this match. Maybe he has an inkling he won't play in the last 2 matches & wants to get a word in. Unfortunate but hey, it does definitely add something extra to the series.

  • chuchan on July 31, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    Sledging in all forms should go, let's give the game back its grace and talking of grace, why can't the ICC ban on-field spitting-such a rampant scourge-which is shown 'live' by all TV channels for the edification of all young watchers?

  • nkoch on July 31, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    This nonsense has to stop. Agreed fast bowlers are hostile and aggressive on the field but carrying it over on way to dressing room is simply ridiculous. Rahane is probably the calmest of 22 on the field, 24 if you add men in coat. Anderson on the other hand is most animated bowler out of 10 from both sides combined. He should be punished for this behavior to set an example for himself and others like him.

  • jmcilhinney on July 31, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    I would agree that Anderson overdoes it on the sledging but I'd also say that he's not the only one. I'm not a big fan of sledging at all and I think that bowlers look stupid standing mid-pitch mouthing-off at batsmen. If India want to curtail it then I'm with them on that. I'm not going to support making an example of Anderson as a means to do it though. If he did initiate a physical confrontation with Jadeja, which is certainly not assured, then he deserves to be punished appropriately for that. Anything he has said on the field should have no bearing on that though, including this incident. If the umpires haven't had to report anything Anderson has said then it's within what's allowable. Whether what's allowable is appropriate in another matter.

  • on July 31, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    I am so glad that India seem to be taking a stand on this non-cricketing behavior, which is going on unabated for so long, further re-inforced by a fancy phrase "mental-disintegration", executed verbally, and quite overtly.

    India's main partners in the self proclaimed powerful trio are the most guilty in this regard. Any neutral observer would agree on that. Of course, every other team also started giving back in kind. But, that is more a response to the aggravated verbal assault over very many years.

    Stop this nonsense and get on with cricket. If Wimbledon can sustain its glory AND competitive edge without resorting to that, Cricket too can. So, don't give the excuse that it is part of the game. Or, cricket will lose its "charm"! What charm? Cricket's charm lies in the intense contest between the bat and ball; not in verbal duels and legalistic & administrative posturing.

  • backwardpoint on July 31, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    Cricket is much more mental and pretty limited when it comes to physical stress. Sledging has been a historical part of the game and it makes it look brilliant most times and look banal and irritating the rest of the occasions. Lets move on with the game. That's most important. Sledging cant be stopped. Period. Regardless of how many offences are seen and how strict the authorities get. Its a competitive game for gods sake... and there are various kinds of people. A few are thoughtful, and a few tend to get under the skin. Unless they want to see the competitive instinct getting cut off, taking away sledging isn't a safe option. Get used to it and learn to survive. A thick skin helps.

  • jimbond on July 31, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    Best response by India would be to hang on for a draw here. Which seems very unlikely given the mindset of the Indian batsmen. BTW India have done no favours to England by giving away their wickets to Ali. This sort of artificial success will give England confidence to keep on playing with three and half bowlers and Ali- which would backfire against better teams. What allows England to get away with a poor bowling attack is the fact that the Indian attack is worse. Against a stronger bowling team, England's bowling also will get exposed.

  • CodandChips on July 31, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    I don't mind a bit of sledging, but there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Since we don't know what Anderson said, we don't know where he stands so shouldn't praise no condemn him too hastily.

    If he gets banned, he might get the well needed rest from this ridiculous schedule, and this might help him be fresh for the world cup. Considering Anderson is 4th in the ODI rankings, this would be no bad thing at all.

  • MelFerns69 on July 31, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    Very surprised to see comments here condoning, even trying to justify, this behavior. It is apparent that Mr. Anderson has serious behavioral / attitude issues which incite him to trigger such confrontations that are both verbal and, now allegedly, physical as well. Yes, it is a very competitive out in the field...but the competition should be restricted to a battle of cricketing skills. Resorting to such overtly inciting verbal confrontation reflects poorly on the individual and dramatically deflects all attention away from his wonderful performance with the ball..and bat! It also reflects on the Team Leader..who tacitly approves this behavior in interests of short term gains for himself and his team rather than the ensuring the Game is played in the right Spirit.