India captain MS Dhoni batting with Ravindra Jadeja during the Mohali Test. (BCCI)
New Delhi: Sparks flew thick and fast between Ravindra Jadeja and David Warner as the two players found themselves involved in an ugly spat during the second day's play of the fourth and final Test at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Saturday. It all started when Aussie pacer James Pattinson had a word with Jadeja, something that India skipper MS Dhoni did not like.
When Pattinson returned to bowl, Dhoni was warned by the umpire for running on the pitch. While a smiling Dhoni tried to settle the matter at his end, Warner, positioned at mid-on, looked the most animated and mumbled some profane words. Jadeja, at the non-striker's end, retorted by showing the handle of his bat. This further provoked the Australian opener and he complained to the umpire. The on-field umpires then called upon Jadeja and had a word with him.
Both Dhoni and Australia's stand-in skipper Shane Watson were called in to soothe the fraying nerves but that did not seem to have deterred Warner and Jadeja from having another round of sledging. They once again exchanged expletives before heading to their respective ends. As Watson was walking past the India skipper after settling the matter, he got engaged in a war of words with Dhoni.
In the same over, after the verbal spat, the third ball was played by Dhoni towards square-leg and Siddle, who was stationed there, flung the ball towards the India skipper. The ball narrowly missed Dhoni and he reacted angrily.
After that, Pattinson had a huge leg-before appeal against Jadeja turned down by the umpire. The shout seemed like a never-ending one but umpire Aleem Dar rightly ruled in favour of the batsman as the yorker was going down the leg. After the over, drinks break was taken, which saw both the on-field umpires having a long chat with Dhoni and Jadeja and later on with the Australian skipper.
"What happens on the field, stays on the field. Australia plays cricket very hard," offspinner Nathan Lyon, who took five wickets to keep Australia in the match, was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. "We play hard but fair. We know where the line is and we don't go over it. We push it to the limit and that's the way we play our best cricket.
"That's probably something we haven't done over the last three Test matches and I think we saw a reward for putting India under a bit of pressure. I think we do wish that we did do it earlier. That's a way that Australia plays its best cricket, when we're putting the contest to the opposition. And no matter who the opposition is, I think it works well," Lyon said.