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Alastair Cook Accuses Ashwin Of Tactical Ploy In Rajkot Test Incident
By CricShots - Feb 16, 2024 5:21 pm
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In a surprising turn of events in the ongoing third Test in Rajkot, India suffered a blow when they were fined five runs for running on the wicket. Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook termed the incident as a “tactical move”, suggesting that it was a deliberate move to give the Indian spinners an advantage.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin had a discussion with the umpire

This penalty was imposed on India when R Ashwin, following the footsteps of Ravindra Jadeja, ran in the middle of the pitch while batting. Umpire Joel Wilson immediately signalled a five-run penalty in favour of England, giving them an unusual 5–0 advantage when they started their innings.

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Alastair Cook, providing insight on TNT Sports coverage, explained how England players Ollie Pope and Joe Root brought India’s infraction to the attention of the umpires. However, Cook went beyond mere observation, saying that this was no accidental mistake by the Indian players; Instead, it was a strategic move to manipulate the playing conditions.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook

“Is this intentional? Yes it is. It is a strategic move that you can create chaos in the middle of the wicket because when Ashwin can bowl, he needs as much help as possible. Usually this happens in the third innings. You’re 150 runs, 200 runs ahead, you think, ‘Boys, just make sure you get up and down the wicket,” Alastair Cook insisted.

Taking inspiration from his playing days, Alastair Cook revealed that this strategy was something he would adopt, highlighting the example of Essex winning the 2019 County Championship title with the help of spinner Simon Harmer.

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“We had Simon Harmer in Essex. The reason we won a lot of cricket was Simon Harmer; He bowled a lot of off-spin to right-handed batsmen, and if you’re batting in that third innings, there’s no rule saying where you can back up and run. So obviously our batsmen – and I’m now probably preparing Essex for next year – you’ll make sure that the footprints that are naturally there, if you’re running up and down there a little bit more, You are disturbing the surface. That was gamesmanship there,” Alastair Cook said.