India skipper Virat Kohli may have brushed aside British media suggestions that he may have tried to use illegal means to shine the ball in the Rajkot Test, but there was some prickliness on the first day of the third Test against England. There was an exchange of words between the Indian skipper and Ben Stokes after the England all-rounder had been stumped off Ravindra Jadeja. (SCORECARD)
When asked about the umpires talking to Kohli after the incident, Jonny Bairstow, who saved the innings with a gritty 89, said: “I can’t really comment. Depends on what context it was said. I didn’t hear anything. A lot of people were squealing and screaming in the crowd. (HIGHLIGHTS)
“It’s something that’s probably going more out of the game. You have to respect the fact that you have got guys out there who are very passionate, representing the country in the heat of the battle and at some point there are going to be words said; that’s the nature of professional sport.
“We are adults and that’s something that comes with or against playing sport. I do not get involved in these things.”
Stokes was reprimanded by the ICC match referee, Ranjan Madugalle for “using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match”. The England all-rounder accepted the charge laid by the on-field umpires.
Read more | India vs England: A series of dropped catches
There was another incident after Kohli’s throw was taken on a shoulder by a batsman, who did not move away. The skipper was seen explaining to the umpires that the batsman could have avoided it.
When India pacer Umesh Yadav was asked about the send-off by Kohli to Stokes, he said, “I don’t have an idea what happened as I was not there.”
Umesh, who took two wickets, though had a better idea about the pitch. “It’s a bit cold and there’s some moisture in the wicket. The ball is moving. It’s not that if the wicket is flat the new ball won’t swing. New ball will swing if you have faith. Me and Shami know we can swing it till the ball is new. We are trying to bowl outside the off-stump channel from where we were getting our out swingers. There is good carry in the pitch, also at good pace.”
But for Bairstow’s 89, England would have been in serious trouble. England were reeling at 87 for 4, but promoted to No 5, the wicketkeeper delivered. Dropped on 54, the leading run-scorer for England in 2016 stuck to the job and brought the visitiors back into the game.
Speaking about losing the advantage of winning the toss, he said: “It was disappointing to lose the early advantage. Having said that, we managed to save the day. It could have been disastrous. The pitch was probably at its best today and (will be) tomorrow but we have also seen some uneven bounce. You can see from where the wicketkeeper and slip fielders were fielding in the first few overs compared to where they were late in the day. That was a fair indication of the pitch and bounce. We are fighting a battle. The total can go up to 290-300. I just gave away my wicket.”