India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he was ‘very hurt’ by the International Cricket Council’s decision to fine Ravindra Jadeja 50 percent of his match fee after an incident with England bowler James Anderson.
Speaking on Saturday on the eve of the third Test against England at the Rose Bowl, Dhoni put up a fierce defense of his teammate, who was fined Friday by the ICC for a level one breach of ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game.’
Facing pressures of his own, England captain Alastair Cook said his teammates still want him to be captain but denied that leading his country had damaged his form with the bat.
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The incident involving Jadeja and Anderson happened as the players were walking off for lunch on day two of the drawn first test at Trent Bridge.
“I would not like to take any other individual name in this but we started walking and there is an individual (Anderson) who used foul language against Jadeja,” Dhoni said.
“I had to step in the middle and by the time we reached the ropes, I thought the thing had diffused. By the time we were through the members area I was ahead of Jadeja and again something happened. Something was told to him and he just turned to the individual and after that he was pushed and he barely gained his balance. On the basis of that, he is fined.”
Anderson has a hearing for a level three charge of pushing and abusing Jadeja on August 1, the day after the end of the third Test. If the charge is upheld, he could be banned for four Test matches.
“If somebody is saying something to you from behind and you turn and you look, that is not aggressive,” Dhoni said. “I feel there were a lot of things that were neglected. I don’t think there was a bit of aggression (from Jadeja) and that is the reason I am very hurt by the wording that has been given.”
When asked if he wants the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to appeal the sanction imposed on Jadeja, Dhoni replied: “Definitely.”
He also cautioned that the ICC fine could discourage players from reporting incidents to the match referee.
“I am better off abusing the guy or whatever because 50 percent of my match money has gone because of the other guy abusing me,” Dhoni said.
Allrounder Jadeja blasted 68 runs off 57 balls in the second innings as India won the second test at Lord’s to lead the five match series 1-0. Jadeja took the wicket of Anderson in the first innings and ran him out to win the match in the second.
“The more he plays, the better he will get,” Dhoni said of Jadeja. “When he starts being himself, you can see he has got a lot of talent.”
Meanwhile, Cook believes his wretched batting form for England has not been influenced by his captaincy role.
“There is nothing worse when you don’t score runs and feeling you have let the other 10 guys down,” Cook said. “Nothing will give me more satisfaction if I do pull through it and score runs.”
Cook is without a century in 14 months, and his loss of form coincides with a terrible run for England, which has lost seven of its last nine Tests.
Despite the two trends appearing to be in tandem, Cook has not contemplated standing down as captain.
“I keep saying in every press conference at the moment that I am desperate to carry on,” Cook said. “I just want to throw everything into it. Until that time comes where I do not feel I can carry on doing it or someone taps me on the shoulder, that is what I am going to do.”
The third Test starts on Sunday in Southampton.