India skipper Virat Kohli got under the skin of England players on the fifth day as he took a jibe at both Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler questioning their Test match cricket credentials while the England batting duo was at the crease. This came after his war of words with James Anderson on Sunday and pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s short deliveries at the veteran England bowler on Saturday.
“Don’t worry guys, it’s just like white-ball cricket,” said Kohli as he ran past Ali and Buttler in the final session after England were five wickets down.
Kohli had been animated throughout the fifth day’s play. He was seen in the balcony celebrating wildly in the first session as both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah went after the English bowlers, adding 89 runs in an unbeaten partnership for the ninth wicket.
Later, prior to the start of England’s innings, he asked his teammates to give their all as England had to negotiate 60 overs after the visitors had declared at 298/8 immediately after lunch.
The wicket of Jonny Bairstow, which India got after a review on the last ball before tea, made him go wild in celebrations.
The series between the two teams was played in good spirits until the fag end of the third day’s play on Saturday when Jasprit Bumrah directed short deliveries at James Anderson. The 39-year-old England pacer was hit on rim of his helmet. After a concussion test on Anderson, Bumrah continued with his barrage of short-pitched deliveries.
On Sunday, Kohli had told Anderson, “You swearing at me again are you? This isn’t your fu**ing backyard.”
The altercation with Kohli and the barrage of short deliveries he had received, forced Anderson to lose his cool.
On Monday morning, he and the England pace bowlers tried to go for revenge with short deliveries that weren’t directed at the stumps. They, however, lost the plot as both Bumrah and Shami went after the bowling freely and got valuable runs that put India in driver’s seat and made them set a challenging target for the host.
Bumrah and Wood exchanged a few words and probably for the first time in his career, the Indian pacer looked angry and soon hammered a boundary.
The 27-year-old pacer was hit on the helmet by a Mark Wood delivery.
However, it clearly showed that the English bowlers wanted revenge more than wickets as they did not target stumps, something that needs to be done to tail-enders.
The fact wasn’t lost on commentator Sanjay Manjrekar who said on air, “For me, the turning point was when Bumrah came on strike [after the fall of Ishant Sharma’s wicket] and England decided to take revenge.”