Ben Stokes plays down exchange with Virat Kohli, says it was 'competitive guys trying to get over'
The verbal altercation between England allrounder Ben Stokes and India captain Virat Kohli on Day 1 of the 4th Test between the two teams at Motera in Ahmedabad has become a topic of conversation after the day's play. Mohammed Siraj bowled a bouncer to Stokes, which prompted the batsman to say a few words. Siraj walked off, but Kohli came to speak to Stokes and the two exchanged a few words before umpires Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma separated the two players.
While Siraj has revealed that Stokes had "abused" him and Kohli "handled" the situation, the England batsman played down the whole episode, saying it was just a conversation between two competitors.
"The thing in cricket nowadays is that it becomes a massive talking point when two opponents have a word with each other. People seem, I do not know, not lose their heads but they think it is all wrong," Stokes told reporters at the press conference after the day's play.
"Look at it from a different way, guys care about what they are doing and what they are representing. Playing against each other, we are competitors and we are not going to back down to anyone, whoever it may be," he added.
"It is nice to see two competitors going toe to toe against each other and no one is backing down. For me, that was it, two competitive guys trying to get over each other," the batsman further said.
England were eventually bowled out for 205 with India 24 for one at stumps in response.Playing his second game of the series, Siraj picked up two wickets in England's innings.
Siraj was also at the centre of the controversy during the Test series in Australia where he was racially abused by a section of the crowd.
Cricket Australia had apologised for that incident and even evicted some spectators from the ground during the Sydney Test.
(With PTI inputs)