INDIA accused England batsman Jonathan Trott of gamesmanship after tensions boiled over yesterday as the Test series approached its decisive climax in Nagpur.
Trott’s grizzled 66 not out helped guide the tourists from 94-3 to 161-3 – a lead of 165 and closer to a first series win in India since 1985 – on the penultimate day of the fourth Test.
But he also infuriated the hosts in a series of incidents, most notably when he hit a stationary ball for four from well outside his crease, after Ravindra Jadeja’s delivery slipped from his grasp.
“When you talk about gamesmanship and sportsmanship I think you should hold by yourself to actually expect the same from opponents,” said spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
“It was just about the shot that he got away, a rolling ball. We are pushing for a win, but nothing got out of hand.”
Trott also baited India’s bowlers by blowing them a kiss after umpire Kumar Dharmasena rejected Ishant Sharma’s vociferous appeals that he had him caught behind on 43.
He later clashed with Ashwin, who vented his anger that Trott had backed up too far at the non-striker’s end, although seamer James Anderson warned his team-mate would not be intimidated.
“I think he quite enjoys it,” said Anderson. “Some batsmen are really determined and he’s the sort of guy that would relish that battle and try to get stuck in.”
India, needing a win to avoid a first home series defeat since 2004, declared on 326-9, four runs behind England.
Captain Alastair Cook could only make 13 from 93 balls before being harshly given out, caught behind off Ashwin, and fellow opener Nick Compton added just 34 before he was trapped lbw by Pragyan Ojha.
England looked in trouble when Jadeja bowled Kevin Pietersen for six, but Trott and Warwickshire colleague Ian Bell (24 not out) dug in to frustrate India.