The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been keeping a vigil eye on every moment of the game as cricketers are often getting aggressive while playing. As ICC is not doing any dilemma to take action against the cricketers for unwanted behavior on the field players are cautious now. But there are cricketers who don’t care about ICC’s sanction as they enjoy getting involved in a verbal duel with their counterparts.
Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli and England’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes are having to go each other for the past three days at times openly like on the first day and at times subtly like it has happened in the next two days.
The on-field duel between captain Kohli and all-rounder Stokes remind the cricket fans about a similar on-field tension between England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly. (India vs England 3rd Test: Ravindra Jadeja’s childhood coach wants him to play like Ravichandran Ashwin)
In 2000-2001 during six-match ODI series India the host was leading the series 3-2, the summit clash of the series held at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai. England batting first scored 255 thanks to Marcus Trescothick’s 95 and Andrew Flintoff’s 40. When India came chase down the total Flintoff took three wickets. It was a thriller match. Flintoff was bowling the last over he did a great job in the last over. India was in a good position to win the series but Flintoff changed the hue of the match in last over as he took three wickets in one over. India needed to score five runs but Flintoff kept things tight for Indians. He ran out Anil Kumble and bowled Srinath as a result India lost the match by five runs. (India vs England 3rd Test: Opener Haseeb Hameed’s availability uncertain for rest of the series due to finger injury)
Flintoff took off of his shirt to celebrate the victory. For Sourav Ganguly, it was humiliation at home. So in the next NatWest series in England in the final at the Lord’s India chased down 325 in 2002 captain Ganguly took off his shirt at the famous Lord’s balcony and waving it vociferously to celebrate the victory which is one of the favourite moments of cricket fans.
The third Test at Mohali is also witnessing some on-field fireworks between Stokes and Kohli.
On day one of the third Test, Stokes was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja’s outstanding delivery. After the dismissal, Stokes got involved in a verbal spat with Kohli while returning to the pavilion an act that got him ICC’s reprimand.
On Day two it was Stokes’ turn to get a well-set Kohli out then to comically gesture ‘sealed lips’ so as to make people aware that he has been under sanction. On the third day as soon as Stokes was dismissed by Jayant Yadav, Kohli didn’t waste his time as he showed his ‘I am quiet’ gesture which said it all.
When wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was asked about his he said, “It’s up to him (Kohli), isn’t it. He’s obviously quite a vocal character. But that’s Virat. He gets a bit wound up.
We’ll leave him to it. If he wants to do that, let him do that. And we’ll go about our business as we have over a period of time. But yes. If he wants to do that and let the crowd do that, then let him,” Bairstow’s answer revealed that they won’t like to go further with it even though it wasn’t exactly amusing.
Bairstow also dismissed the fact that England batsmen were trying some sledging tactics by standing straight when spinners were bowling.
“No sledging. I don’t think there’s anything in that, to be honest with you. The standing straight is standing straight. You can stand anywhere you want. I don’t think there’s a set thing to stand there at the moment. It is not a set play to try to unsettle anyone or anything like that. It’s just that we fancy standing a bit straight.
“You’ve got Jadeja at one end, who gets through his overs in about four seconds (in jest) and you have guys at the other end with a slightly longer run-up. So to try and settle into a rhythm as a batter can be a little tricky when you’ve got two spinners at different ends going at 4 and 7 second an over!” Bairstow did agree that they have been outplayed today.
“I think they have won today. I think up until this morning, it was evenly poised, to be honest with you. If this morning, we’d gone bang bang for two wickets, it would have been a great start to the day. But unfortunately, that was not the case. They have played well this morning, to give them credit. So yeah, they played nicely today and put us in a tough position.”
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