'He won the battle': Graeme Swann lauds Ben Stokes for getting Virat Kohli's wicket for 0 with an 'absolute beauty'
India captain Virat Kohli faced disappointment with the bat once again on Day 2 of the 4th Test in Ahmedabad as he was dismissed for a duck by allrounder Ben Stokes. The right-arm fast bowler surprised Kohli with a short one, and the India batsman had to return to the hut without contributing to the team's total.
Speaking during the Lunch break on Star Sports, former England spinner Graeme Swann praised Stokes for the delivery and said that he won the battle against Kohli.
Kohli and Stokes were involved in a bit of an on-field discussion on Day 1, before the two were separated by umpires Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma.
"He (Kohli) is world class, we all know that. On this wicket, it is very difficult to start. More so against spin bowlers because of the amount it can turn and bounce. You are not expecting an absolute floater like that (from fast bowler Ben Stokes)," Swann said.
"We know when Kohli is starting his innings, he looks to score early, he likes to get on the board. So, he just chased the ball. But if you are not as good as Virat Kohli, you probably do not nick the ball. Because it was that much in the slot, he was probably too late on it. So very well done, Ben Stokes. There were a few words said between them so Stokes has probably won that battle today. Just an absolute beauty," he added.
Stokes has dismissed Kohli five times in his career so far. This is the 2nd time the India captain has been dismissed by the England pacer in this series.
"It is always nice to have a player of this stature in your back pocket. Twice in this series, he would be happy with that. More from a team perspective, when you go from 30/2 with Virat Kohli walking into bat, you would think if we do not get him out early it could probably be 130/2 by Lunch. They had got him out early, and put themselves in a strong position," Swann said.
"When you are playing as allrounder, you expect to come on as 2nd change. Bowl 15 overs in a day, get a little swing in the day, you might pick an odd wicket here and there. But a lot of pressure has been put on Stokes in this game. James Anderson is the only out-and-out fast bowler in the team. And the ball has swung.
"If the ball was not swinging, then the ball would be given to spinners and let them bowl all day. Ben Stokes would get 5-6 overs in the day here or there to help the skipper out, maybe get a wicket. But the fact that the ball was swinging, England have looked after the ball well. Means Stokes plays a much bigger role. He is a bit under the weather from all accounts as well, and to be out in this heat, all credit to him. This is hard work. He is a fast bowler as well. You gotta take your hats off for him for what he has done so far," Swann signed off.