Two quality teams played over the last few weeks and there was one clear winner and that was India. The hosts after losing the first Test came back strong to hammer England in the remaining three Tests and book a spot in the ICC World Test Championship with New Zealand.
During the last few weeks, the competition was intense, the scores may not point that out – but it was. There were plots and then there were subplots. While there was the rise of Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar, veteran offie Ravichandran Ashwin proved his class once again.
But again, when such high-profile team clash – tempers are bound to flare. It happened and here are the controversies that spiced up the Test series.
Pitch Controversy: The pitch discussions took centerstage after England were steamrolled in under two days in Motera. Even before that, there was pitch talk and it started from the first day of the tour when England won the toss and opted to bat on a batting beauty at Chepauk. Initially, there was nothing there for the bowlers as England went on to win the Test. Since the second Test, the ball started to spin and the talk around the pitch became an everyday thing before it peaked at Motera.
Stokes Abused Siraj: Yes, this too happened. It happened in the last Test at Motera when Sira bowled a bouncer to Stokes. Following the bouncer, Stokes got into a banter with the bowler before Kohli stepped in and calmed things down. At the end of the day’s play, Siraj revealed that Stokes abused him.
Root apologises to Ali: Moeen Ali’s departure from India was agreed upon as part of the national team’s rotation policy. Root apologized to Ali after he mistakingly said that the all-rounder had ‘chosen’ to go back home. In the second Test at Chepauk, Ali took eight wickets and was the top-scorer with an 18-ball 43.
Umpire’s Call: Like in Australia, the umpire’s call rule in cricket again stirred controversy time and again during the recently concluded Test series. Plaudits slammed the ICC rule and urged the apex body to look into it. It is the batsman who survives if half the ball is hitting above the bails in a leg-before decision. It is marginal and at times not so conclusive and that is why ex-cricketers are calling for a change of rule.
3rd Umpire Call, ENG’s DRS Reinstated: Anil Chaudhary – the third umpire had erred. It left Joe Root fuming after Ajinkya Rahane survived. A Jack Leach delivery brushed Rahane’s gloves on the way to the forward short-leg fielder Ollie Pope. Later the replay was shown on the big screen and Chaudhary was left red-faced.