India were handed a grim reality check in the third Test against England at the Headingley cricket ground in Leeds, as batting collapses on the first and fourth days led to the visitors losing by an innings and 76 runs. And the way the Indian batting order imploded, captain Virat Kohli must have been expecting some tough questions from the media in the aftermath.
From his selection to bat first, in overcast conditions on the opening day on a pitch that offered movement for the bowlers, to the wayward line and lengths from the Indian seamers that the English batsmen capitalised on, there were enough talking points from India’s series levelling defeat at Headlingley.
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However, questions about the performances and advice to improve them can get annoying at times, especially when coming from people who have never faced such situations themselves.
Kohli, who is known to have lost his cool at reporters earlier in his career, was once again subjected to a not-so-expert opinion of another journalist in an interview after the loss at Headingley.
The gentleman in question said the English bowlers were bowling fuller lengths and on the pads and the Indian batsmen were missing out on a lot of scoring opportunities by not going on the backfoot and playing those deliveries.
In reply, Kohli just calmly replied, “Okay, thanks!”
Watch the exchange here:
However, the English batsmen, especially opener Haseeb Hamid and captain Joe Root, did use this tactic as they sat back in their crease and waited for the ball to come to them before playing it late to score a bulk of their runs.
After bowling out India on the opening day for a mere 78 runs, England seemed to be batting on a completely different pitch as each of their top four batsmen went on to score 50+ runs. Hameed (68) stitched a 135 opening wicket stand with Rory Burns (61), before Dawid Malan (70) and Root (121) added 139 runs for the third wicket as England finished with 432 runs on the board.
In reply, India were looking strong on day three, with Rohit Sharma (51) and Chesteshwar Pujara (91) scoring gritty fifties, and Kohli also well set as he approached a fifty at the end of day’s play.
But Ollie Robinson crippled the visitors of an unlikely comeback, notching his second fifer in Test cricket as India were bundled out after adding just 68 runs to their overnight score of 215.
The five-match series stands level at 1-1, with the next Test scheduled to be played from September 2 at the Oval, London.