He may have witnessed a massive drop, but Virat Kohli maintains his infectious energy level on the pitch. The former India skipper was seen exchanging a few words with England’s Jonny Bairstow ahead of the second ODI on Lord’s Thursday. The two had a longer talk – which also received a lot of cheers from fans who were present at the venue. Kohli, whose penchant for animated festivities is well documented, had a heated exchange with Bairstow during the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston. Also read | India legend’s distinguished response to Babar Azam’s tweet “This too must pass” on Virat Kohli
In his attempt to settle the Englishman, Kohli had something to say to Bairstow about his ‘play and miss’ game. The judges had to intervene to cool the temper down. This led to Bairstow changing his arms and producing a lot of high blows. Bairstow, who continued to hit a brisk 106 of 140 balls, said the altercation was part of the game.
“No, there was literally nothing about it. We’ve been playing against each other for a solid 10 years now. It’s a little craic (having a good time, fun social activity). We’re tough competition on the field and that’s what it’s about, “Bairstow told the media.
“We play test cricket and we are two competitors. It brings out the best in us. Whatever it takes, you want your team across the line and that’s part of the game.”
Bairstow, who emptied the Indian Test side by hundreds in both innings, scored 38 in the second ODI before falling to play spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who returned 4/47 in his 10 overs.
Kohli, on the other hand, extended his skinny patch with a calm 16, which in turn led to discussions about his poor form. In the previous T20I series, Kohli scored 1 and 11, and was also rejected cheaply in the fifth Test against England.
Paceman Reece Topley claimed a record six for 24 to help England beat India by 100 runs and level the series with three games. In the chase for 247 for the win, no Indian batter made more than the 29 managed by the all-rounder pairing of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja.
While it remains to be seen whether the Indian team management will give a long rope to the star date, skipper Rohit Sharma has backed his predecessor to come back strong. Kohli, who has beaten 27 centuries in 102 tests since his international debut in 2011, has not touched the three-digit mark in almost three years.
After the match, Rohit maintained that Kohli’s place on the team is secure. “As I have said before, form can go up and down, it’s part of any cricketer’s career. Even the greatest of the cricketer would have his share of ups and downs,” he said.
“For someone who has won so many matches for India, you need one or two innings to come back. That’s how I feel and I’m sure all those who follow cricket will think in the same way.”