James Anderson has faced censure from Australian TV commentators who accused him of ball tampering in the fourth and penultimate Ashes Test in Melbourne. Michael Hussey has also added fire to the incident and stated that the English pacer could be asked for an explanation by the ICC for his actions.
After the first two Tests which had all the ingredients of a true Ashes rivalry, the verbal banter between the former cricketers of two nations had stopped for a while. However, the banter was back to the fore once again during the fourth day at the MCG and this time, with a ball-tampering controversy guiding it to light.
In the first sessions of the fourth day, umpires S Ravi and Kumar Dharmasena spoke to England captain Joe Root after Stuart Broad threw the ball from mid-on that bounced well short of wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow on the hard wicket block. If that wasn’t a grave concern to be worried about for the Aussies, television cameras captured Anderson nailing the quarter-seam of the ball that runs down the face of the ball. Seeing that, Michael Slater, who was on the air that time with his former teammate Shane Warne, instantly, said, "You can't get your nail into the ball. That's a no-no."
Warne also attested to the same immediately and said, "I'm not sure you are allowed to use your fingernail there. If you are going to touch the ball at all, it's not just shining it, you want to do it right in front of the umpire so they know there is nothing untoward going on. But I'm not sure that Jimmy Anderson ... this might get some people talking."
Talking up “people talking”, it didn’t take a long time to let the Aussie cricketers jump on to the bandwagon as Michael Hussey stated that Anderson could face the wrath of cricket laws.
"It didn't look great, to be honest. There might be a little bit of a 'please explain' there for Jimmy Anderson. I know there's a lot of tactics, but there's a bit of a line there that you shouldn't cross in picking the seam of the ball and things like that,” Hussey told Cricket.com.au.
"The English have been throwing the ball into the ground to try and scuff one side up, but that's nothing the Aussies weren't doing either and the umpires are generally on top of that pretty quickly. But certainly getting a thumbnail into the ball is against the rules. So it'll be interesting to see what happens and if anything plays out there."
While England media manager has stated that Anderson was unaware of the ball-tampering warning that was given to Root, the case might take a toll on the struggling English team, who for the first time in the series, seemed to be in a position to win the game.