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England captain Alastair Cook has announced that India’s decision to lodge a complaint against pace bowler James Anderson is nothing more than a “tactic”.
Anderson has been accused of abusing and pushing India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on the second day of the first Test in Nottingham.
“We are surprised it has come to the situation it has come to,” Cook said. “I am going to sound a bit like (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger and say I didn’t see it, but I genuinely didn’t see the incident.
“It’s probably a tactic by India, if we are being honest. Jimmy is an outstanding bowler with a fantastic record. We will just rally behind him and hopefully we will get the ball swinging at a certain time in this Test match. Jimmy will want to let his cricket do the talking.”
Cook also noted that India are hoping their complaint can get Anderson suspended.
“Yes, I think that is pretty much where it has come from,” he said. “It’s a big mountain out of a molehill, if I’m being totally honest.”
Cook also revealed that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have lodged a complaint against Jadeja as well.
“We just can’t let this be a distraction,” he said. “We can’t sit here in five days’ time and talk about the build-up. To be honest with you, only Jimmy, and maybe myself, have been involved. The other lads have not had dealings with it.
“It has been toing and froing between Jimmy and (coach) Peter Moores, and the hierarchy of the ECB as well. Yes, there has been a charge back at Jadeja, I think that’s reasonable.”
The England captain also refused to comment on what Anderson’s side of the story was.
“Yes, but I am not allowed to (outline that version),” he said. “Because it has gone to Level 3, I am apparently not allowed to talk about the specifics of it or give my opinion.”
Cook also stated that he and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have to ensure that this incident does not affect the atmosphere throughout the rest of the series.
“I hope not,” Cook said. “MS and I have that responsibility as captains to make sure we control our players, and do not let that happen. It might make for good viewing but I don’t think we’ll see it.”
Cook added that he will not tell Anderson to calm down during the second Test at Lord’s.
“No, I don’t think I will,” he said. “We always have a responsibility as England players not to cross the line. I like it when Jimmy is in the battle, because I know he is up for it and he’s desperate to do well for England.
“I think people watching it get behind him and think ‘there is a very competitive guy’. I think people enjoy that.”