Nottingham: England captain Andrew Strauss lauded his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni for upholding the spirit of the game by recalling Ian Bell to the crease after the batsman was declared run-out in bizarre circumstances in second Test here.

"In years to come it will be looked up as a step in the right direction, and hopefully other people will follow it," said Strauss about Dhoni's decision to withdraw the run out appeal against Bell on Sunday.

"Myself and Andy (Flower) went down to the umpire's room as we wanted to clarify the situation. We felt it was clear he wasn't attempting a run and so we asked India to reconsider their appeal and then left it at that.

"It was very commendable they changed their mind and took back the appeal. We are not disputing he was out but one of the things that has set the game of cricket slightly apart from other sports is that you have the opportunity to show some spirit," he said.

Dhoni acknowledged that Strauss thanked him for his gesture this morning.

"We wanted to be happy at the end of the day. This is the decision we are satisfied with. We had almost decided (to call Bell back) when they (Strauss and Fletcher) came for the meeting," remarked Dhoni.