Nasser Hussain and Michael Holding let their emotions boil when discussing the validity of Kagiso Rabada’s demerit point for his celebration of Joe Root’s wicket.
Hussain seemed to defend the actions of the South African fast bowler.
‘Looking back, he is a continual offender, a repeat offender, and hence is very silly and very stupid to do something like that. Why would you do something like that when you’re on your last warning?’ said Hussain.
‘This lad has had no physical contact, he hasn’t said a word. He’s shown some emotion for bowling a jaffa. I tell you what, let’s have 11 robots out there.
‘Let’s take emotion out of them.’
Were the commentators losing their grip on what the heat of battle felt like?
‘You can sit in an air-conditioned comm box and be really righteous and say, “oh calm down, isn’t it a lovely game?”‘ he said. ‘We know it’s not a lovely game. All three of us have played Test cricket. We know how much toil it takes out of you.’
Holding, like Kevin Pietersen, believes bowlers must not invade the personal space of batsmen.
‘You control your emotions,] he said. ]When you have the bat in your hand you smash it for four, you don’t run up into the bowler’s face. When you get someone out you celebrate with your teammates, you don’t run and invade the batsman’s space, Nass.
‘That is not the way the game should be played.’
Holding then got up close to Hussain. ‘You want me to invade your space like that?’ he asked.
‘That’s physical contact,’ Hussain replied.