ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook came out fighting yesterday, accusing India of exaggerating a confrontation between James Anderson and batsman Ravindra Jadeja in order to get the fast-bowler banned for the climax of an increasingly bitter Test series.
Anderson, who took four wickets and scored 81 runs in the drawn first Test, could miss the final two games of a five-match series if found guilty of pushing and verbally abusing Jadeja as they left the pitch for lunch on day two at Trent Bridge.
England’s key bowler will be available for the second Test, which starts today at Lord’s, while the allegations are investigated, but Cook made clear his distaste for the claims.
“It’s probably a tactic from India, if we’re being honest,” said the Essex opener. “In my opinion, it’s a big mountain out of a molehill. We’re surprised it’s come to the situation it has come to.”
Jadeja was last night charged too after England lodged a counter complaint. Cook said India “should make sure” their claims were not motivated by previous ill-feeling towards Anderson and warned the tourists that their complaint would only galvanise the hosts.
“For Jimmy, all the lads will rally round him,” he added. “He’s a stalwart of our side, an outstanding bowler with a fantastic record. Jimmy will want to let his cricket do the talking.
“If anything, if [it] does bring us even closer together and supporting each other more that can work really well for us.”