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Winning hearts, losing plot

india Updated: Aug 01, 2011 08:00 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Sreesanth-celebrates-dismissing-England-s-Andrew-Strauss-during-the-third-day-of-the-second-cricket-Test-match-at-Trent-Bridge-in-Nottingham-central-England

What is it about Trent Bridge that always attracts controversy during an India-England match? In 2007, the match played here was the most acrimonious between the two sides, and the script appears to be the same this time too.

The third day of the second Test started with the controversy raging over former England skipper Michael Vaughan's tweet on Saturday evening, wondering whether VVS Laxman had vaseline on his bat to avoid detection of an edge by Hot Spot. While everyone was still busy debating the tweet, a bizarre incident on the field at the stroke of tea threatened to snowball into a much bigger controversy.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/010811/01_08_pg14a.jpg

Grand gesture
Ian Bell was ruled run out in controversial circumstances when he assumed that Eoin Morgan's shot off Ishant Sharma had gone for a four and started walking towards the dressing room for the tea break.

However, better sense prevailed during the break and India withdrew the appeal in the spirit of the game. It was a magnanimous gesture by the Indians as it was a big moment in the game. Bell was going strong at 137 and India desperately needed the breakthrough at that time with England well-placed at 254 for three.

Wicked conjecture
Prior to that, the action in the middle was overshadowed by the vaseline controversy. It was related to an appeal on Saturday by the England team against Laxman off James Anderson's bowling. The last ball of Anderson's ninth over beat his bat. The England players were confident that Laxman had edged it and skipper Andrew Strauss asked for the review (DRS) after umpire Asad Rauf turned down the appeal. But the TV umpire too upheld the umpire's verdict after analysing the evidence on the Hot Spot.

It prompted Vaughan to tweet: "Has vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman???" It triggered a strong response from the Indian experts, many of whom suggested that Laxman should take Vaughan to court. Under pressure, he backtracked and said he commented in a lighter vein.

"I think there has been a slight overreaction to Vaseline gate... Taken to court!!!?? Sense of humour required for many I think..." "Friends from India, I didn't accuse VVS of using Vaseline. And even if batsman does, it's not cheating ... no rules saying you can't," were Vaughan's tweets on Sunday.

Stuart Broad further stoked the fire at the post-match press conference after Day Two by saying he felt the edge of Laxman's bat. "Sarcastically, I had a cheeky feel of his edge the ball went past. There was no vaseline or anything there, so I think it was just Hot Spot not showing the very faint edge."