India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has insisted his side had been right to complain about the conduct of England’s James Anderson.
England seamer Anderson was charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday for allegedly “abusing and pushing” India’s Ravindra Jadeja during last week’s drawn first Test at Trent Bridge.
If the charge is upheld, Anderson could be banned for as many as four Tests.
The ICC confirmed later Wednesday that England had charged Jadeja in response.
England captain Alastair Cook suggested at a pre-match press conference at Lord’s Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s second Test, that India’s complaint had been a deliberate tactic to get Anderson banned from the rest of the five-match series.
However, Dhoni — speaking later at Lord’s — said: “We felt what happened was wrong so we went ahead with the charges.
“Itâ€™s not something that we have done. Letâ€™s realise the fact.
“In a press conference you can ask me tough questions.
“I have the right to answer them or not to answer them, but in no way can I go and touch you or you can come and touch me,” the wicketkeeper-batsman added.
– Back off –
Dhoni added: “It was good on Jadeja’s part to not really do something.
“It could have gone a bit far, but I felt he addressed this in the most appropriate manner.
“Someone has to back off at the right time. At the end of the day we play sport and lot of people look up to us, and there is a lot of responsibility on us.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Cook accused India of making a “mountain out of a molehill” in an effort to try to get Anderson banned.
“I think so, I think that’s pretty much where it’s come from,” Cook said. “It’s probably a little bit of a tactic by India.
“For Jimmy, all the lads will rally round him. He’s a stalwart of our side.”
Cook added he believed completely the version of events that Anderson had told him but that, under ICC regulations, he could not reveal the conversation.
The incident involving Anderson and Jadeja is said to have happened after the players left the field for lunch on Thursday’s second day, when the Indian was batting, and taken place as the teams entered the narrow corridor of the Trent Bridge pavilion.
The ICC confirmed Wednesday that England team manager Phil Neale had charged Jadeja with committing a Level Two offence rather than the more serious Level Three charge laid by his India counterpart Sunil Dev against Anderson.
This appeared to be a move by England designed to avoid admitting that a physical confrontation had taken place.
“It is alleged that after the players left the public area and entered the pavilion, Jadeja turned suddenly and took steps towards Anderson in an aggressive and threatening manner,” an ICC statement issued Wednesday said.
All Level Two breaches are punishable by a fine of between 50-100 percent of a player’s match fee and/or a ban of one Test.
However, no date has yet been set for an ICC judicial officer to consider either Anderson or Jadeja’s case, although the governing body said Tuesday a hearing would take place “as soon as reasonably practicable”.
Both Anderson and Jadeja are now likely to remain available for the second Test and next week’s third match in Southampton as any hearing will probably not take place before then.