England captain Alastair Cook believes India is making "a mountain out of a molehill" by launching a serious charge against bowler James Anderson for allegedly pushing Ravindra Jadeja.
The incident took place as the players left the field at Trent Bridge for lunch on day two of the first test, which ended in a draw. Anderson could miss up to four matches if found guilty of the level three charge.
The ICC, cricket's governing body, said in a statement on its website Tuesday that a "judicial commissioner" will hold a hearing "as soon as reasonably practicable," meaning Anderson could potentially miss some of the remaining four tests against India.
"He's an outstanding bowler with a fantastic record. It's probably a tactic from India if we are being honest," Cook said Wednesday, a day before the start of the second test at Lord's. "We are surprised it has come to the situation it has come to. We can't let this be a distraction for us."
Cook also confirmed that England has made its own charges against India's Jadeja in response to the complaint against Anderson.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was insistent that the incident needed to be reported, saying "there are guidelines that need to be followed. "In a press conference, you can ask me tough questions and I have the right to answer them or not to answer them but in no way I can go and touch you or you can come and touch me," Dhoni said. "You can put it in whatever way is possible but there is a certain thing that needs to be followed and should be followed. You can be aggressive, you can be vocal, and it's fine. But there are certain guidelines."
Cook is hoping that the allegations will work in England's favor by bringing the players closer and firing up Anderson.
"For Jimmy, all the lads will rally round him, he's a stalwart of our side," Cook said. "Hopefully we can get the ball swinging at certain times in this test match so Jimmy can let his cricket do the talking."
The only shared stance by the captains is a determination not to visibly strain relationships between the two teams across the series.
"Definitely, I would like to make sure the remainder of the matches are played in right spirit," Dhoni said, while Cook acknowledged that both teams must set a positive example.
"We have a responsibility to people watching the game and responsibility to ICC rules," Cook said.
The previous test at Trent Bridge ended in a draw after the flat wicket provided little encouragement to bowlers of both teams across the five days.
"We just want nicks to carry, I think both sides would like that," Cook admitted when speaking of how he'd like the pitch to play. "I definitely want a result."
England is without a win in nine test matches, while India has not won in 15 away tests, losing 10 and drawing five.