The British media’s ‘no love lost’ attitude towards Virat Kohli was evident once again as they tried to ask questions about Indian captain’s exchange of words with Ben Stokes after the latter’s dismissal but performer of the day Jonny Bairstow was in mood to fan the fire.
The incident happened during the 44th over in the post lunch session. Stokes, who had played the spinners well till that point, was foxed by Ravindra Jadeja and stumped by Parthiv Patel.
As he was leaving, the TV replays showed Virat giving Stokes, who is also feisty character, a send-off. The England all-rounder stopped and turned back to reply as umpire Marais Erasmus had a word with the Indian captain.
Funnily, both non-striker Jonny Bairstow, closest to the ‘incident’, and Indian pacer Umesh Yadav, farthest from it, said that they are both unaware as to what transpired between the two.
At the end of the day’s play, Bairstow was asked about whether ‘send-offs’ are in good taste referring to the Virat-Stokes incident but the wicketkeeper-batsman gave a nice reply putting end to the minor controversy then and there.
“It depends on what context what it is said. I actually didn’t hear anything to be very honest with you with a lot of squealing people in the crowd and screaming. The exact words that were said, I wouldn’t be able to put my finger on. It’s something that’s probably going more out of the game,” Bairstow made it clear that he doesn’t want to indulge in the controversy.
Bairstow feels that passion tends to be high when one represents the country.
“Verbals and things like that if you go back ten years, it was a bigger part of the game and there has been a lot of clampdown. At the same time, you also got 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,” Bairstow gave a nice reply which was as matured as the innings that he played.
“We are adults and that’s something that comes with or against playing sport and I am sure there have been some hiccups. But I don’t know what was said as I don’t get involved with all that stuff.”
While Bairstow gave an elaborate reply, Umesh was evasive at best when one among the visiting media asked the same question.
“Seriously, I don’t have an idea as to what happened as I was not there. I don’t know what the umpire said to Virat and Stokes. No idea, what the communication was.”
This was the second instance that British media has tried to rake up controversy after veiled allegations of ball tampering against the Indian Test captain with inconclusive footages of him applying saliva to the ball during the first Test at Rajkot.