India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sought out the English media at the post-match conference in Mohali on Thursday night. Words have been exchanged among the players during the three matches India have won and Dhoni wanting to give it back 'officially' was not surprising.
Despite the amended laws giving a team the opportunity to look “the spirit of the game” in the eye, the players restricting themselves to verbal volleys, is a sign that cricket has emerged victorious.
Kohli vs KP
Virat Kohli running in to bowl at Kevin Pietersen at the Ferozeshah Kotla had seen Ravi Bopara back up at the non-striker's end. Law 42.15 has changed and now reads: “The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker.”
But Kohli gestured to Bopara to get back and returned to his run-up. This was after saying a day before, “I don't think the new run out rules have crossed anybody's mind. If you get a run out in a crucial time it can be exciting. We shall get used to the new rules in time.”
Again on Thursday, as Jonathan Trott went for a couple in the final over of the innings, bowler R Vinay Kumar had the ball in his hands as the batsman darted across the stumps to scamper home.
The Bell recall
All India had to do was appeal, and Trott could have been given out under the new Law 37 which states: “…if an umpire feels that a batsman, in running between the wickets, has significantly changed his direction without probable cause and thereby obstructed a fielder's attempt to effect a run out, the batsman should, on appeal be given out, obstructing the field. It shall not be relevant whether a run out would have occurred or not”.
Neither of these would have had a bearing on the matches, but if executed, could have dented India's image.
This underlined the reason why skipper MS Dhoni had called Ian Bell back at Trent Bridge after he was technically run out.
What Dhoni did was leave a word of advice for the England team. “It's important to be nice to your teammates,” he said of Alastair Cook's boys.
“There were lots of gestures when England were fielding. When you are under pressure, some of the individuals will commit mistakes. These are the things that really check the character of a side. England are really good when it comes to talent, they just need to stick together as a team."
“That’s a very important thing, especially when the team doesn't get the desired result,” said the India skipper Dhoni.