Ishant Sharma Sabbir Rahman
Ishant Sharma traps Sabbir Rahman lbw © Getty Images

“What are you looking at? Watch the ball, play your cricket, and keep your mouth shut,” Sanjay Manjrekar, reading between the lines, said in the commentary box after Ishant Sharma was involved in a war of w̶o̶r̶d̶s̶  gestures with Sabbir Rahman, during the one-off Test between India and Bangladesh. Ishant was in the middle of a staggering spell, reverse-swinging the ball both ways. He was wicketless until then. He mixed-up his length with a ball over 60 overs old. He knew there was a wicket round the corner. Bangladesh, however, needed another 253 runs to win, with 5 wickets in hand. The onus was on Mahmadullah and Sabbir to pull off the unlikely. Full cricket scorecard: India vs Bangladesh, one-off Test

Ishant to Sabbir. The batsman tries to flick the ball as it swings in late. Sabbir punches the next ball to cover. The third ball swings even further into Sabbir; still no run off the over. Sabbir defends the last two balls, with Ishant still waiting for his first wicket of the innings. Both players stare at each other. While Ishant seems animated, Sabbir simply stares at him. The crowd at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi Stadium was in for a show. So far, they had not witnessed any piece of rivalry. So far, they had not seen players going at each other’s throat. So far, they had seen nothing but the players maintain the game’s gentlemanly traits.

Sabbir then hits a four off Ravindra Jadeja, taking his score to 22. Earlier, he had already hit a six and four off Ravichandran Ashwin. In other words he was looking in a good touch, but so was Ishant.

When Mahmudullah rotates the strike, Sabbir faces Ishant again. The Indian speedster runs in hard, traps Sabbir in front, and has the last laugh.