New Delhi: Apart from Morne Morkel’s fiery spell, the highlight of the morning session on Day 3 of the fourth Test was Shikhar Dhawan’s outburst.
Shikhar Dhawan, who turned 30 on Saturday, played an uncharacteristically sedate innings before lunch to take India 51 for 2, stretching the lead over South Africa to 264, after Morkel gave two early blows by dismissing Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma with just 8 runs on the board.
The incident in question happened at the start of the 23rd over when Dhawan gestured to the dressing room and asked for a forearm guard, having been hit a while ago. He had been out of action after fracturing his hand in the recent tour of Sri Lanka, and so it is understandable that he was worried.
KL Rahul and Gurkeerat Singh, the non-playing members of the squad, immediately came out running. But Dhawan looked visibly upset at something, and unleashed a verbal attack on the two players.
Rahul was seen offering Dhawan water to calm him down, which the batsman refused by patted on his arm in a gesture suggesting that everything is fine. Later Rahul offered him a banana but Dhawan refused that too.
Team Director Ravi Shastri could also be seen standing in the balcony and his expressions suggested that he wasn’t happy with whatever was happening on the field.
The delay in following the orders was at the source of the outburst. What is apparent is that Dhawan wasn’t happy at not getting the required medical attention quickly after he was hit by the rising delivery from Imran Tahir. He wanted a forearm guard and the magic spray quickly but the reserves – Rahul and Mann – were too slow in relaying the message. Hence the fury.
Dhawan, however, was later seen apologising to Rahul near the boundary ropes. Hope it is not read as rivalry between the two openers!