Former England captain Nasser Hussain said that he would not have copied Mahendra Singh Dhoni and withdrawn his appeal after Ian Bell was controversially run out in the second Test on Sunday.
Bell was on 137 facing the the last ball before tea and having completed three runs with Eoin Morgan after Praveen Kumar’s misfield, he sprinted off the field believing the ball had gone for four and was consequently ‘dead’.
In fact it was still ‘live’ and a stunned Bell was eventually given out.
England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss went to the visitors’ dressing room at tea to ask India, whose coach is ex-England supremo Duncan Fletcher, if they wanted the appeal to stand.
And towards the end of the interval, India reinstated Bell, who later admitted he was “naive and a bit stupid”.
He went on to make 159 as England ended the day on 441 for six in their second innings — already a lead of 374 runs – as they looked to go 2-0 up in this four-match series.
Hussain, writing in Monday’s Daily Mail, said: “I must say when I was England captain, in the heat of the battle, I would have appealed, definitely.
“I am not sure I would have done what (India captain) Mahendra Singh Dhoni did and withdrawn the appeal.”
However, India-born Hussain, Fletcher’s first captain when the Zimbabwean was England coach, added: “But if someone like Duncan Fletcher, who was involved in India’s decision yesterday (Sunday), had then sat me down and said: ‘Nass, this doesn’t look good, I think we should call the batsman back here’ then there is every chance I would have listened and changed my mind.
“His (Dhoni’s) gesture in the best interests of the game will be remembered for a long time,” added Hussain, one of several former Test players working as broadcasters at Trent Bridge.
But former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding said the original run out decision ought to have stood.
“Ian Bell should have been watching the final session of the day from the England dressing room,” Holding, a Sky TV colleague of Hussain, said.
“He decided he was the umpire. He decided that it was four runs and he was off for a cup of tea.
“He has no right to do that. The umpires decide what is four runs and when it is tea time.”