The last couple of weeks in the England-India Test series have been marred by the Trent Bridge controversy between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja. MS Dhoni was very vocal about his displeasure over Anderson’s actions and was firm in his support for Jadeja.
However, Gordon Lewis, the man who investigated the matter, declared both Anderson and Jadeja not guilty at the end of it. Dhoni said the decision was a result of the lack of evidence and now all they can do is move on. “It’s mostly on the lines of lack of evidence and its time for us to move ahead,” he said.
“Hangover? Usually I don’t drink and so I don’t get hangovers.” On a serious note, he said it was important not to let the off-field matter have an impact on the cricket. “In a similar way when we deal with social life, it is important not to drag one thing into other.
“Irrespective of what has happened and what will happen we are concentrating on cricket. So that’s a good thing. Once you’re a part of the Indian team you do that very well because lot of things float around cricket whether we are at home or outside. So it really teaches u to focus on the game,” the captain said.
Despite Anderson getting away unscathed, Dhoni was happy that at least the 50 per cent fine imposed on Jadeja was waived off.
“The good thing that came out of it was that Jadeja’s fine was called off. As I had said earlier, there wasn’t even one per cent mistake committed from his side. After that it becomes all about evidence and would be really interesting to see what David Boon found out on the basis of which he fined Jadeja in first place.”
While Dhoni said strong characters like Anderson are needed in the game, he also felt the umpires must step in when the line is crossed.
“Strong characters are needed in the game. And it doesn’t matter whether it is him (Anderson) or a player or some other side. It can be someone from my side as well. But the need is for the umpires to step in when the individual crosses the line. What matters is that they stay within the guidelines and that’s important for the game and the spectators,” Dhoni said.
“There is no need to control Anderson really. There was a vast difference in the way he played the first Test and the next two. He only needs to be controlled if something wrong is happening. You don’t want everyone to be the same because individuals bring character to the side. Everybody is different in their own way. But there are certain guidelines need to be followed and as long as they are following that it is okay,” Dhoni said.
India might not have gotten the result they thought was just in the case. But Dhoni said they don’t regret pressing the charges against Anderson and going for the appeal, because they did what they believed was the right thing to do.
“I did something that was right and I stand by it,” Dhoni said. “If something wrong is happening I will go against it irrespective of who is doing it. If one of my players gets fined and if he is within the boundary lines definitely I’ll go and defend him. But if he crosses that line I he will go alone and face the consequences.
“We brought forward something we thought was unacceptable when it comes to game of cricket. Beyond that it is not in my jurisdiction to punish or award penalties. It is up to the ICC and others to decide on the matter,” the skipper said.
Dhoni said the basis of their report was the physical assault and not the sledging. “It was the physical contact that we had problem against. We never said anything about sledging. Quite a few harsh words spoken on the field as well but we didn’t report that.”