James Anderson has been a wonderful bowler throughout his exemplary Test career, picking up wickets in the bucketloads to become England's highest wicket-taker. Having achieved so much in his career, you would think respect for a fellow player of a similar stature – ok, much bigger stature – might be second nature to the fast bowler. Not quite, apparently.
Having seen Virat Kohli, the India captain, play one of the greatest Test match innings the Wankhede has seen, Anderson, who could do nothing with the ball, apart from wasting a review for absolutely no reason, was asked what he thinks about Kohli and his improvements since that disastrous tour in England in 2014, when the pacer had the batsman's number.
The obvious answer to the question would have been – hey, he has just struck a double hundred and helped India pile on a total of 600, so obviously these are two different players now, and it was a wonderful knock – or something along those lines.
Instead, Anderson took the "This is why fans outside England do not like him" route.
"I'm not sure he's changed," Anderson said, somehow with a straight face. "I just think any technical deficiencies he's got aren't in play out here. The wickets just take that out of the equation.
"We had success against him in England, but the pace of the pitches over here just take any flaws he has out of the equation. There's not that pace in the wicket to get the nicks, like we did against him in England with a bit more movement. Pitches like this suit him down to the ground.
"When that's not there, he's very much suited to playing in these conditions. He's a very good player of spin and if you're not bang on the money and don't take your chances, he'll punish you. We tried to stay patient against him, but he just waits and waits and waits. He just played really well."
Kohli, since that England tour, has shown just how improved a batsman he is, scoring runs in pretty much every country he has toured. Now, not giving a quarter is fine, but Anderson's comments on arguably the best batsman in the world, put his entire team in a bad light.
England, barring a miracle, will go 3-0 down after the fourth Test match in Mumbai, but Anderson has done his best to take "gracious while losing" out of the equation. Alastair Cook did not cover himself in glory by saying the only reason India won the Test match in Visakhapatnam was because they won the toss, only to then go on and lose the Mohali match after calling right and then being on the brink of another defeat, despite winning the toss in Mumbai.
However, that seems like nothing compared to Anderson's remarks. To make things worse, all those comments will do is motivate Kohli more; and that is something England could have done without, with one more Test match to play.
We will know how improved a batsman Kohli is for certain only when India tour England in 2018. Until then, though, there is nothing wrong with a little respect going around – be hard as nails and
"pumped up" on the cricket field, but to try and belittle an innings -- and a batsman's calibre – that was of the highest quality on a wicket that was turning, only makes you look like a (insert favourite word here).