India v Australia, 7th ODI, Bangalore November 2, 2013

Dhawan mocks injured Watson

Plays of the day from the seventh ODI between India and Australia in Bangalore

The unsavoury moment
Shane Watson had gone off the field after bowling five overs because of a hamstring injury, and came out to bat at No. 8 instead of No. 3, when Australia were 138 for 6. Running between the wickets was a problem for him. Watson punched his first ball into the covers, where Dhawan fielded it, and then displayed an astonishing and disappointing lack of respect for an injured sportsman by hobbling exaggeratedly and mocking Watson. It was an ugly moment devoid of grace and an example of the sort of behaviour that needs to be stamped out of the game.

The coincidence
The only time Virat Kohli had been run out for a duck in ODIs - in Bulawayo in 2010 - Rohit Sharma* went on to make 114 in that game. Today, when Kohli drove a ball straight and set off for a run, Rohit first turned around to make his ground in case the bowler fielded it, then he set off for a single after the ball went towards mid-on, and then he decided it was too risky and turned back again. Kohli had kept running and by the time he stopped to sprint back to his crease, the throw had gone to the wicketkeeper who broke the stumps to run him out for a duck. It had been Kohli's call and he made sure Rohit knew that before he walked off. Rohit did better than go on to make a century this time. He made a double.

The brainfade
On commercial aircrafts, the safety instructions tell passengers to place oxygen masks on themselves first in case of low cabin pressure, before assisting the person next to them. George Bailey learned cricket's equivalent of that lesson at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. He had played the ball to deep midwicket and returned for the second run as Yuvraj Singh threw to the bowler's end. Bailey, seeing that the throw was not to the end he was running to, turned around in the middle of the pitch to check if his partner Brad Haddin was okay. Incredibly, he even stopped running. Haddin was okay, because the throw to the bowler was a little wide, but Vinay Kumar collected and fired the ball to Dhoni, catching the onlooking Bailey by surprise and completely out of his crease. Bailey smashed his bat on the ground in anger as he stormed off the ground.

The helicopter
"It's the chinook, it's the blackhawk and it has come loaded with ammunition," said ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary for the fifth delivery off the 48th over of India's innings. James Faulkner had delivered a length ball, Dhoni got under it and with a whip-like whirl of his wrists he helicoptered it out of the Chinnaswamy, clearing the roof at long-on.

The contribution
When Clint McKay pushed his tenth delivery, off R Ashwin, through midwicket to get off the mark, it was the first run he had contributed to a ninth-wicket partnership that was already worth 58. Faulkner had blitzed most of the rest, on his way to scoring the fastest ODI century for Australia. When McKay was eventually dismissed in the 45th over, he had contributed 18 to a stand of 115.

*November 2, 7.30pm GMT Rohit Sharma was not the batsman involved when Kohli was run-out for a duck in Bulawayo. This article has been updated to reflect that

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • venu on November 4, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Oh. Give me a break. Who defined Mental disintegration?

  • Dayne on November 4, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    And to those who, largely baselessly, bandy about the 'ugly aussies' tag - think on this:

    Every time you bandy that about, it is used by you as a defence upon some pathetic behaviour by one of your own sportsmen.

    So if they are 'stooping' to the same lows you, nor your players, get to use that as such antics are on par.

    India, particularly their younger stars, are very arrogant. It is one thing to mix it up and give it back and forth, which India do in absolutely equal dosage with Australia.

    What is not right is mocking an injured player. There is nothing funny or appealing about a player mocking another due to the fact they sustained an injury.

    This is not excusable, sorry to correct you all on that, it will never be OK for anyone from any team to sledge an injured player, no matter who that player is or what their biased perceptions of them are.

    This is simply a pathetic, inexcusable low-point for Indian cricket and is revelatory of their arrogance and poor sportsmanship. End

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    The Aussies have this habit of drawing a line for code of conduct when it is convenient to them. The same bunch of players will cross all limits of decency when the situation is favourable to them. Watson has always been aggressive but not quite a sportsman when he is at the receiving end. I am not sure if it is good for Dhawan to get distracted. He has hardly been in news for a year now and if he continues his ways he might well be forgotten soon if his form dips.

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Dear friends, Please remember all these ill behavior was started by Australia and Africa. Just go for Cricket history, Earlier they have started doing all unwanted things insulting players, starring the batsman after hitting a sixer or boundary, acting reckless manner which was an object to loose concentration. At that time Aussies have pleaded that it was part of the game, and the opponent should be more sober and should not loose concentration. Now when others follow the same tactic it was treated and bad attitude....... If such things should not happen in future ICC should frame new laws.

  • S on November 4, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    What's also dispiriting to me in George Binoy's article is the missed opportunity here to highlight the negative consequences of sledging. It was clear that the tasteless display by Dhawan was in response to the sledging by Watson (not just of Dhawan, but also needling of Kohli) - as pointed out by Sunil Gavaskar during the commentary. I commend Gavaskar for refusing to buy into the macho Aussie culture of "sledging on the field is ok as long we can have a beer together later". This attitude is a cultural construct that is not shared by most Indians - sledging to most Indians is reprehensible, as much as the display by Dhawan. So if Binoy wants to stamp out boorish behaviour on the field, I'd like to see him and other commentators question why sledging is not outlawed, and point out the negative consequences that sledging results in (the Dhawan incident being an example).

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    I hope they make the pitches so green fast and bouncy in Australia, sick of these flat tracks.

  • KUMARAVEL on November 4, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    for people saying you have to be sledge and be aggressive to win matches,do not look farther than the 80s WI team. I ask you if India had lost this series would you still have been on Shikhar's side? I doubt it .Just because you win it does not make everything all right.People would be saying things like you don't have the right to do something like that after loosing a match.So how is it okay when you do it after winning? Get some perspective guys.

  • David on November 4, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    The problem with world cricket at the moment is that the Indian's think they are bigger than the game

  • Michael on November 4, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    @Hami19: Such as? I certainly don't believe that the Australian team are saints, and certainly they have overstepped the bounds of sportsmanship on several occasions (recently and in the past), but I don't recall them ever openly mocking an injured member of the opposition, in full view of a packed stadium of roaring fans. How is that remotely acceptable? It says more about the individual's character than it does about any current or past Australian player - and what it says is certainly not complimentary. Dhawan should hang his head in shame.

    I'm extremely concerned about the recent tendency to think that holding your own means sinking to the level of those who you complained about for so many years. If you thought their behaviour was unacceptable, then why is it acceptable for you to sink to that level? Surely you should show the way by holding your own and doing so with grace and sportsmanship. That goes for all teams - play hard but fair and respect your opposition.

  • ESPN on November 3, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Dhawan has no right to do that. Mocking an injured player is bad. Even he can get injured, I HOPE revenger gets served hot then. And Watson was the real sportsman, he actually came out to bat coz he was the last hope Aussies had. And Dhawan insulted him. Bad. Thats NOT cricket! Indian team is full of cheap players who have forgotten how gentlemanly this game is. Ye sledging is not good. Even Aussies have done it, in fact, they're famous for sledging the opposition team, BUT mocking an INJURED is not a part of sledging! Dhawan, learn some respect for your guests, and opposition player.

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