Mahendra Singh Dhoni is getting the applause but it was actually Sachin Tendulkar's intervention that led to Ian Bell's reinstatement after his bizarre run-out in the just-concluded India-England second Test, a media report has claimed.
According to 'The Daily Mail', Dhoni refused to entertain England skipper Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower's request for reinstating Bell, who was run-out after leaving his crease claiming to be under the impression that tea break had been taken on the third day of the match which England won by 319 runs on Monday.
"Sachin Tendulkar has emerged as the key figure behind India's dramatic change of heart that led to them recalling Ian Bell after controversially running him out," the newspaper reported.
The Indians had appealed for Bell's dismissal and got the umpires' decision in their favour but decided to allow the batsman's reinstatement during tea break when requested by Strauss and Flower.
"Dhoni was asked three times on the field whether he was appealing and each time he said yes. Then when Flower and Strauss went to see Dhoni and Fletcher they said their captain insisted the decision would stand. Tendulkar was the voice in the dressing room that got Bell reinstated," the daily quoted a source as saying.
The newspaper said Tendulkar successfully managed to avert a major controversy.
"It is no surprise that one of the greatest players to ever grace the game would be such an influential figure in such a big decision and would be aware of the implications of the run-out standing.
"The atmosphere between the teams would have been tense for the rest of the summer while the sometimes fraught relationship between the two countries' boards would have been further stretched," the report said.
Describing Tendulkar as the "most influential person in Indian cricket", the newspaper said, "Once Tendulkar had spoken Dhoni listened and a decision that - according to the letter of the law - was perfectly fair was swiftly overturned."
"It was also one that was quickly accepted by the rest of the India side who hold their illustrious teammate in such high regard. The England team quickly emerged on their balcony to applaud the Indians as Bell ran out after tea. By then they knew that it was Tendulkar they were applauding."