London: "Weathermen have blamed a depression rolling westwards from the Bay of Bengal, but it is more romantic to imagine the man up there casting his disapproval at the tactic employed by Nasser Hussain to nullify Sachin Tendulkar."
The argument over the ethics of the bowling tactics employed by England in the third and final Test against India at Bangalore continued in the English media even as rain severely dented the hopes of its team to square the series.
The Times, which carried the above mentioned quote in its match report, said with Giles having got the wicket of Tendulkar, Hussain might be able to claim that ends had justified the means. "Yet the sight of Giles continually tossing the ball into the rough, while legal, presented a far less edifying image" of a team that only a day earlier had tried to seize the moral high ground on the issue of the dismissal of Michael Vaughan for handling the ball, it said.
Writing in the Guardian, English cricketer Angus Fraser said while Hussain was within his right to use such tactics, the rules needed to be amended to negate its legitimacy."He has broken no Laws and is perfectly entitled to employ it. As a player I know and admit that we are all prepared to push the Laws of the game to the limit if it means we can gain some sort of advantage over our opposition. However, this is one tactic I don't like," he said.
"I feel the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to do something to negate its legitimacy. What we need are laws that either prevent or severely penalise its use." The Telegraph said the English strategy against Tendulkar was "well thought out and applied with accuracy" as he was being considered the biggest stumbling block in their quest for squaring the series.
"With a terrific performance at Ahemdabad, it (England) proved to itself that it could match 10 of the Indian team but admitted the 11th, Tendulkar, had the wood on them. So they resolved to keep him in check."What we were watching was a legal, non-violent bodyline-type tactic, an attempt to minimise the impact of an awesome opponent. The line in this case between what is fair and what compromises the spirit of the game is as fine as it gets," the report said.