Bangalore: "Keep the verbals (with the Indian players) down," was England skipper Nasser Hussain's instruction to his teammates before they took ground on the third day of the third and final Test against India in Bangalore on Friday.
Hussain, who was embroiled in a verbal duel with master batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday over the negative bowling by Andrew Flintoff and left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, was simply passing on the message of match referee Denis Lindsay who had advised restraint by the players, English paceman Matthew Hoggard told reporters on Friday.
"He (Hussain) asked us to keep the verbals down. He said the match-referee had spoken to him about sledging," Hoggard said. "It was just two seconds (Hussain's talk with his players) and it was dismissed."
Hoggard also admitted that the English bowers were trying to frustrate Tendulkar by not letting him score runs.
"Its a different ballgame bowling at Tendulkar, he is a classic batsman, and he is the best batsman in the world that I have bowled to. Its very hard to dislodge him."Despite just two days remaining in the Test and not even a single innings completed, Hoggard was hopeful of England's chances in the match. "Who knows, there will be pressure on India and it will crumble. We will push for victory."Hoggard, who took three big wickets on Friday, also cracked a joke at himself.
"They (some people) say when he (Hoggard) bowls well, he will take wickets. When he bowls badly, he will get all the wickets."