'In the spirit of the game, it didn't feel right'
India's decision to allow Ian Bell to bat again on the third day in the second Test at Trent Bridge -- after he was given out --may have been in sync with the spirit of the game, but it left many disappointed.
It wasn't surprising, therefore, that the team management sent someone as composed as Rahul Dravid to explain the decision to the media.
The first question was on expected lines: Was the Indian team's decision right?
"If you look at the laws of the game, and if you adhere to it, he (Bell) was out," admitted Dravid, in a pragmatic tone.
Then, emotion followed.
"But, in the spirit of the game, it didn't feel right, so he was allowed to bat," he said.
"The general feeling in the team was that this was the right thing to do."
Image: Ian Bell makes his way out of the dressing room after the tea break, following his reinstatement after being given run out
Photographs: Getty Images
'There was unanimity that he should be reinstated'
The frontline batsman admitted the mood in the camp was downcast after the incident.
"When the guys came back to the dressing room there was a sense of awkwardness, that something wasn't right," said Dravid.
"The discussions started straightaway," he added.
Dravid admitted that there was a lot of discussion during the 20-minute tea break.
"Andy (Flower) and Andrew (Strauss) came to meet Duncan (Fletcher) and MS (Dhoni) during the break and they had a conversation.
"Then Dhoni had a team meeting, where the issue was discussed in detail, and there was unanimity that he should be reinstated," he explained.
Dravid brought forth an emotional angle yet again when he explained a similar incident with the Indian team during their recent tour to the West Indies.
"It happened with us in the recent series against West Indies, when VVS Laxman was stumped off Shivnarine Chanderpaul's bowling.
"It left a bitter taste in our stomach."
Image: Reserve Umpire Tim Robinson tells Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan not to leave the field after the prior was controversially run out
'Giving up on the ball doesn't mean you assume it is four runs'
According to Dravid, the Indian team did not want to repeat the same with another team.
"The question on our mind was, 'What if it had happened to one of our guys'?" he explained.
"I am sure we would have been disappointed had anyone done the same to us," he said.
"That was one of the things that were definitely discussed. At that point it felt right, and it was decided, without thinking much about the consequences," he added.
Dravid, though, didn't buy Bell's argument that the latter assumed Praveen Kumar had given up on the ball.
"Giving up on the ball doesn't mean that you immediately assume it is four runs," reasoned Dravid.
"We can accept the fact that he (Bell) was not attempting a run, but we can't blame Praveen Kumar for taking his time."
Dravid, however, admitted that the Indian team had accepted Bell's explanation on the issue.
"He said he was not attempting a run. And we took his word for it," he said.
Image: Ian Bell