In the ongoing Test match between India and England, Indian skipper Virat Kohli was involved in a heated conversation with England all-rounder Ben Stokes and his batting partner Jonny Bairstow. It started after Mohammed Siraj bowled a bouncer to the left-handed Stokes to end of the 13th over with the latter uttering a few words. Kohli was then seen breaking a conversation with Stokes. The tense exchange continued for some time before the umpires decided to intervene.
— Gontse Lerole (@G_Lerole) March 4, 2021
Maybe it’s not quite so friendly: Graeme Swann comments on air
Former England spinner Graeme Swann, who was on air when the incident happened, quickly said that the verbal exchange between the duo does not seem to be a case of friendly banter. However, he was quick to take an aim at the Indian captain for his approach.
“Maybe it’s not quite so friendly,” Swanny said on air before adding, “It’s not really up to the fielders to butt into the batsmen’s conversations when they’re out in the middle.”
“Just let them get on with it, and you get on with your own game. It all seemed a bit childish to me,” he added.
Such exchanges work in the fielding team’s favour: Sunil Gavaskar
In contrast, Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar argued on commentary that this particular exchange played into the hands of the Indian team. This is because the batters would have to regain their focus and concentration after the exchange.
“That works in the fielding side’s favour because the batsman’s concentration is gone,” he said during the live broadcast. “At this particular point in time, nothing will happen to Virat Kohli for the simple reason he’s fielding,” he added.
“But as a batsman, if you’ve lost concentration, it sort of lingers in your mind as you’re facing up to the next ball and you’re not fully concentrating, not fully focused on the ball,” he noted of the exchange.