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A look at all the controversies during India-England Test series

India Today logo India Today 26-12-2016

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It wouldn't be wrong to say that England's dismal tour of India ended in a complete failure, who had a good past record in the subcontinent, losing the recent five-Test series 4-0.

Barring the first Test in Rajkot, India didn't allow the Three Lions to breathe in testing conditions. The hosts, under the leadership of young and aggressive Virat Kohli, dominated throughout the series, with effective spin bowling while their batsmen exerted complete domination over England's spinners.

The first Test in Rajkot ended in a draw and India won the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 246 runs, as well as the third match in Mohali by eight wickets. India bagged the series with an innings and 36-run win in Mumbai and piled on further misery over England in Chennai where they won by an innings and 75 runs.

Well, this pretty much summed up a rather frustrating series for Alastair Cook and his team.

However, the well-fought series was not without its share of controversies. With ICC sanctions firmly in place, cricket has been losing character due to fear of penalty but there were still a few on-field pleasantries which kept the crowd engaged.

Let's take a look at some of the skirmishes that lighted up the tour.

SILENCE PLEASE!

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Indian captain Kohli and England's premier all-rounder Ben Stokes had a go at each other, not once but thrice, during the third Test in Mohali. The fireworks ignited on the first day when Stokes, after being dismissed, had a verbal spat with Kohli while returning to the pavilion - an act that got him ICC's reprimand.

On second day, it was Stokes' turn to get a well-set Kohli out and then to comically gesture 'sealed lips' so as to make people aware that he has been under sanction. On the third day, as soon as Stokes was dismissed by Jayant Yadav, Kohli made an 'I am quiet' gesture which said it all.

Well, it would be fair to say that Kohli had the last laugh as India went on to win the game and took a crucial 2-0 lead in Mohali.

TOO CLOSE FOR ASHWIN'S COMFORT

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India's Test team is not short of fiery characters and Ravichandran Ashwin is definitely one of them. During the third day's play in Mohali, a tactical gesture by England batsman Joe Root riled up Ashwin.

While standing at the non-striker's end, Root was getting too close to the umpire's eyeline. Though Root was inside the crease, his tactics was to help Cook with the Decision Review System decision in case there was an appeal for an LBW.

Root clearly had a better view of a LBW decision from there than standing at the normal position which was wide on the crease. Ashwin, who was bowling at that time expressed displeasure and complained to the umpire, twice in the over, about Root. However, since Root was well within his rights to stand there as long as he was not in the umpire's eyeline or in the bowler's way, the umpire decided to shun the issue.

Ashwin, however, clean-bowled Cook on the over's last ball.

TOO LONG A BREAK

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Cricketers are the some of the busiest athletes in the world and travel away from home for majority of the year. While any cricketer will love to spend more time with the family, especially if it is a special occasion, Kohli wasn't too pleased with England's long Christmas and New Year break.

Kohli expressed displeasure at the 25-day gap between the last Test and the first ODI of the five-match series in the England's tour of India. Kohli was also unhappy about England getting an eight-day gap between the Test matches which he he thought was giving tourists the time to regain their morale.

"We did not ask for the gap. It was part of the schedule, so we make sure when we go there (England) that we have eight days' gap after three Tests, and a 25-day gap between One-Day and Test series," he said.

THROW BALL

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England's Joe Root found himself in another controversy, but this time with Lokesh Rahul. During the third day's play in the fifth Test, Root threw the ball at KL Rahul rather awkwardly while bowling to him, resulting in a few exchange of words between the two. Rahul, then batting at 146*, played a straight drive to Root and the England star, after collecting the ball, threw it straight towards Rahul, who had to duck to avoid it. Rahul then charged at Root, who had to apologise to him.

ANDERSON'S KOHLI JIBE INVITES ASHWIN'S WRATH

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Senior England fast bowler James Anderson's history of disputes with India is well documented. The Indian team filed a charge against him for pushing Ravindra Jadeja during the Trent Bridge Test in 2014. Although he was later cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

This time around, Anderson angered another India spinner and found himself in a tricky situation. Anderson's comments during the Mumbai Test that Kohli's technique was not being thoroughly tested on the docile pitches in India after he hit 235 at the Wankhede Stadium for his third double hundred of 2016 didn't go down too well with Ashwin.

When Anderson walked out to bat on the final day of the fourth Test, he was greeted by a volley of angry words by Ashwin, whose views were echoed by his team mates in the innings and 36 runs victory for the hosts.

Anderson, who is England's record wicket-taker in Tests, dismissed Kohli four times during India's tour of England in 2014 but the India captain had flayed Anderson and his bowling partners this time, amassing 655 runs in series at an average of 109.16.

The contretemps between Ashwin and Anderson threatened to boil over and it was Kohli who adopted an uncharacteristic role as peacemaker when he acted to pacify an angry exchange between the two.

"For the first time I was trying to calm things down in the middle at a time when James Anderson is involved," a grinning Kohli said after the match.

"Ashwin wasn't pleased with what he (Anderson) said in the press and I didn't even know about it. He told me on the ground. So I didn't know what to make of it, I was laughing about it, Ashwin wasn't too impressed and he let him know without using any bad words, honestly.

"I think Ashwin told him he was pretty disappointed with what he said and it is important to accept defeat as it is. Later on, I told James these things happen and let's move on," Kohli added.

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