ICC World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli criticizes ‘bizarre’ and ‘crazy’ short boundary of Edgbaston after defeat to England
Terming the shorter side of the Edgbaston boundary ‘bizarre’ and ‘crazy’, India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday went on to point fingers at the dimensions of the ground, which he believed helped the England openers more at the start of the match. Kohli did not directly refer the short 59-meter boundary on one side as one of the reasons behind India’s 31-run defeat to England, but the Indian captain made no efforts to hide his displeasure about the same.
England openers, Jonny Bairstow in particular took full advantage of the short 59-meter Edgbaston boundary to tackle the Indian wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Bairstow, who hit his first World Cup hundred smashed five - four of those off Chahal - of his six sixes towards that shorter boundary. Bairstow (111) put a blistering 160-run opening stand with Jason Roy(66), which always kept England ahead of the game.
“It’s a coincidence that it (the short boundary) just falls under the limitations of the shortest boundary you can have in the tournament,” Kohli told the host broadcaster in the post-match presentation. “So quite bizarre on a flat pitch, it’s the first time we’ve experienced that so it’s crazy that things fall in place like that randomly.”
Both Kuldeep and Chahal had troubles dealing with unnatural shorter side of the boundary. Chahal went on to concede 88 runs in his 10 overs - the most by any Indian spinner in an ODI ever. Kuldeep too went for plenty in his first 5 overs before making a good comeback towards the end to finish with figures of 1 for 72 in his 10 overs.
Kohli conceded that Kuldeep and Chahal could have been smarter with their lines but believed the short boundary made their job way more tough than it should have been.
“If batsmen are able to reverse sweep you for a six on a 59-metre boundary then there is not much you can do as a spinner. There is no sort of room to think whether you are going to get out or not and one side was about 82 (metres) or something like that. Yeah, look, they had to be smart with the with lines they bowled, but with one short boundary it was very difficult to contain runs.”
Interestingly, India had expressed their reservations about the shorter side of the boundary at the start of the game. India’s coaching staff and Virat Kohli were seen having a word with the head groundsman of Edgbaston regarding the dimensions of the ground before toss on Sunday.
The size of the boundary, however, was not decided by the England and Wales Cricket Board. Since World Cup is an ICC tournament, the playing conditions comes under ICC jurisdiction and they are the ones who determine the boundary size too.
The Indian captain also admitted that his side was not clinical with the bat while chasing 338 for victory.
“...we weren’t clinical with the bat I suppose, because the wicket was flat. We should have accelerated and gotten closer, but they (England) bowled superbly,” Kohli said.
“If we were clinical with the bat, if the dismissals didn’t happen at that time, the result could have been different. We had a decent chance, when they (Pant and Pandya) were in there to strike a few and get closer to the target and trigger panic in their (England) dressing room. We kept losing wickets and that doesn’t help in a big chase,” he added.
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