The Indian cricket team has been subjected to a lot of controversies lately. For the last two years or so there have been rumors that there's a spat between the captain Virat Kohli and the head coach Anil Kumble. All of it came to the bay when Anil Kumble decided to step down as the coach and in his parting statement, explicitly stated about his uncomfortable relationship with Kohli. Since then, Kohli has been subjected to a lot of criticism and he put all of that aside and now, thanks to his leadership, team India is on the verge of a historic whitewash of Sri-Lanka.
Just when we started to think that the appointment of the new head coach - Ravi Shastri would somewhat calm down the storm around the Indian Cricket Team, we got a new surprise. Virat Kohli didn't shy away from telling his opinions about a certain incident which happened during the match in which ICC got involved.
ICC over the years have been known for giving ludicrous bans and punishments but captain Kohli believes that they've crossed the line when they punished Ravindra Jadeja for something which seems innocuous.
Ravindra Jadeja has been in great form lately and team India is benefitting from it. He scored an unbeaten 70 runs and took total seven wickets in the test vs Sri-Lanka in Colombo, helping India to win the second test by an innings and 53 runs. However, if Virat Kohli wants to achieve the historic feat of whitewashing Sri-Lanka, he would have to do it without Jadeja.
The International Cricket Council has awarded Ravindra Jadeja, SIX demerit points owing to his on-field actions, but were the awarding of the demerit points justified? First of all, let us explain what demerit points mean.
Demerit points are awarded to the players by the ICC who break the ICC's code of conduct. It's usually been awarded during/after the match by either the umpire or the match referee. The demerit points stay valid for 24 months and are classified into four categories.
There are four levels to it considering the level of offense one has committed. Every level has been allotted various demerit points and as they accumulate over the two year period, one can find himself in a very dangerous territory like Jadeja did. Over a two year period, the points stay valid and up to six demerit points, one will get a test or two ODI bans, above that and the punishment is doubled. But why exactly was Jadeja awarded demerit points?
Source: ESPN Cricinfo
Jadeja was awarded three demerit points for ICC's breach of article 2.2.8 of the player's code of conduct which states "throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner during an International Match".
In the 58th over of Sri Lanka's second innings, Jadeja bowled to Malinda Pushpakumara, fielded his shot and in an attempt to run him out, threw the ball at Pushpakumara 'in a dangerous manner' according to the ICC and that sees him suspended.
Owing to the awarding of points, Jadeja not only sees himself sitting out of the next test but also is walking a tight rope as an addition of two points would see himself sitting out for two tests or four ODI's. Although the next match seems dead rubber so Jadeja could've happily sat out but captain Kohli is having none of it!
"Lot of things happen in the heat of the moment you end up doing. But you don't know what's going to cause you one point, two points or three points, I think the intent counts nowadays and those are the things a player needs to keep in mind. Just hoping that the guideline is very similar and it should not vary how a situation is looked at Kohli" he said to the press after the match.
"If it's consistent it's going to be good going ahead because players will be more aware of how they need to conduct themselves on the field and it'll only help the game get better," he added.
India plays Sri Lanka with Jadeja in the third test.