Controversy erupted on Day 4 of the second Test between India and England at the Lord's Cricket Ground when a couple of certain from the home team were seen using spikes on their shoes on top of the ball. The video of two players – whose face was not captured in the footage –stamping the ball and rolling it around on the ground with their spikes grabbed attention as people on Twitter made 'ball tampering' accusations on the England team. The incident took place in the 35th over of the innings, bowled by pacer Ollie Robinson.
Former India openers Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra tweeted their concern "Yeh kya ho raha hai (What is happening?) Is it ball-tampering by Eng ya Covid preventive measures," tweeted Sehwag, while Chopra simply said: "Ball-tampering, eh?"
PTI has reported that no such development can be confirmed as no complaint has been made by the Indian team management to match referee Chris Broad. The matter hasn't escalated and the ball remained unchanged.
England fast bowler Stuart Broad, who has been ruled out of the Test series owing to a calf injury, came to the defense of his teammates. As several users in Twitter questioned England's integrity, Broad provided an explanation as to what might have happened.
"My comments are - Woody (Mark Wood) tried to nutmeg Burnsy (Rory Burns) by tapping the ball through his legs (a very common occurrence) & he missed and kicked the ball there by accident. Instead of screenshotting the pic, watch the video - quite plain & easy to see," Broad replied to a tweet from a user.
Asked by another user as to why the incident was not looked into by either the match referee or the on-filed umpires, Broad said: "Depends If it was damaged? Exactly the same if it was hit into the stands. If it didn't make a mark, why change it?"
As for the match, India had a far better second session on Day 4 afternoon. Heading into the lunch interval at 56/3, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara's dogged approach ensured India of a wicketless session. The total read 105/3, with India in the lead by 78 runs at tea.