Indian superstar Virat Kohli became the major talking point on Day 3 of the ongoing rescheduled fifth Test against England when he indulged in a war of words with English batter Jonny Bairstow. In fact, Kohli was even criticised by fans and a few former cricketers for triggering Bairstow, who went on to smash an explosive century.
Notably, Bairstow was just 13 from 61 deliveries before involving in a verbal spat with the former India skipper. It seemed that the heated exchange somehow triggered the Yorkshire batter as, after that, Bairstow exhibited his beast mode and scored 93 off his next 79 deliveries.
Apart from receiving hard words for his sledging tactic, Kohli was also on the receiving end for his batting. The 33-year-old was looking positive when he began his stint with the bat during India’s second innings. Kohli looked in fluent touch raising hopes of several fans who were waiting to see the Delhi-lad roaring back into form. However, his stay was cut short by an impressive delivery from England captain Ben Stokes.
Though, the outside edge from Kohli’s bat had popped out of the gloves of wicketkeeper Sam Billings, but an alert Joe Root plucked the ball to complete the catch. Kohli was dismissed for 20 off 40 balls.
After the dismissal, former England spinner Graeme Swann defended Kohli and said it was just an ‘unplayable’ delivery as any batter could’ve been out there. Swann also criticised the Indian commentators stating they have been too harsh on Kohli.
“You can say what you want, I don’t care, who is batting in any period of Test history if you can survive that delivery, you are very, very lucky. That is unplayable. It’s a lucky catch in the end. Regardless, if you are looking to get on the front foot or back foot, that ball is a ripsnorter. For an English point of view, I often find that whenever Indian commentators talk about Virat, I always think, ‘wow, they are quite harsh on him’. The standards are so high for Virat, I thought he was very at ease today,” said Swann while speaking to Sony Sports.
“Yes, he is looking to get forward, but he knows that the England bowlers, Broad and Anderson, are looking to pitch it up. Jimmy won’t waste his time bowling many short ones to Virat. I think it was clever batting,” he added.