Trent Bridge, July 31: Accusations of unsportsman-like behavior and cheating have abounded at Trent Bridge as former England captain Michael Vaughan alleged that Indian top-order batsman VVS Laxman applied vaseline on his bat to hoodwink the Hot Spot facility in determining caught-behinds.
"Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?" tweeted former England captain Michael Vaughan after Laxman was adjudged not out by the third umpire after the Decision Review System (DRS) was requested for by England in the first session of play.
The premier batsman was on 27, and the total 48 for 1, when the last delivery of James Anderson's ninth over whizzed past his bat. The bowler and the rest of England team immediately went up in appeal for a catch behind the stumps and began converging on the batsman.
As umpire Asad Rauf ruled in Laxman's favour, England skipper Andrew Strauss went for DRS but that too nullified their appeal as replays were inconclusive.
Kevin Pietersen and Laxman were soon seen getting into a bit a nasty exchange and later Stuart Broad told mediapersons his side was convinced that Laxman had nicked the ball.
"Players feel Hot Spot sometimes doesn't show faint edges. It's a bit of a flaw," stated Broad.
Broad actually proceeded to check Laxman's bat and see if there was any Vaseline or liquid applied to it.
"I had a cheeky feel of the edge of his bat as the ball went past him. There was no Vaseline, no liquid there. It's just that Hot Spot is not showing very faint edges," he said.
This is the second occasion that vaseline has been at the crux of an argument during Test matches between the two countries.
When England toured India for the 1976-77 series, England's left-arm fast bowler John Lever was alleged by Indian skipper Bishan Singh Bedi of using Vaseline to gain undue swing with his bowling during the Delhi Test and end up with 7 for 46 and 3 for 24 in his debut Test.
Then, when India visited England for the 2007 Test series, jelly beans were found at the batting crease when India was in, in an reminiscent of a childish prank.