What exactly happened on the afternoon of the third day?
It was the last ball before tea and Ishant Sharma was bowling. Ian Bell hit the ball towards the boundary. But Praveen Kumar managed to stop it just as it seemed to the naked eye from the pitch area as though the ball had touched the ropes and it was a boundary. Praveen Kumar looked dejected as he rested on his hands leaning backwards.
However, as he looked back, he saw that the ball was in play. So he got up and threw the ball towards wicketkeeper Dhoni. Until this point everyone was thinking that it was a boundary. Bell was out of his crease talking with his partner and was ready to walk off for tea. However, as the Indians appealed for Bell’s run out, the decision was referred to the third umpire, Billy Bowden. He upheld the Indian appeal and eventually, Ian Bell was ruled out.
It was reported that the umpires asked M S Dhoni at least three times if he wanted to indeed appeal for Bell’s run out and every time he said yes.
The Sachin Tendulkar factor
When finally Ian Bell was asked to come back to bat, it was supposed that M S Dhoni had backtracked on his decision of upholding the umpire’s decision. The team wished to go with the decision and not call Bell back as he was going strong and was well set. However, it was not Dhoni’s decision alone.
Actually, to retain the spirit of the game, Sachin Tendulkar had his own say in the decision. He wanted Bell to come back to bat, in the spirit of the game. And that was it. Dhoni sent a word to the English dressing room. As Bell came out to bat, the entire England team came out in the gallery and applauded Team India’s decision.