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‘Two very competitive people doing what they love’: Jonny Bairstow downplays Virat Kohli incident

The key moment during the England stick was the verbals between Virat Kohli and Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow was on 13 of 60 the verbal interaction with Kohli occurred. He shifted gears and galloped to his third consecutive Hundred Test on 119 balls. There were a few questionable hits that could have got him out, immediately after the episode, but Bairstow quickly started to find the middle of the bat and turned on the heat.

At the end of the game day, however. Bairstow looks like there was nothing to the interaction and everything was fine.

“Two very competitive people on the pitch doing what they love, 11 guys who are very passionate about their country. It was great there. Hope that clears things up,” Bairstow said.

England’s Jonny Bairstow plays a shot during day three of the fifth Test cricket match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England on Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

The word craic means pleasurable social activity. The Oxford Dictionary helpfully frames it in a sentence: “he likes the craic, the late nights”.

It was craic out there on the pitch.

Virat Kohli v Jonny Bairstow started on the evening of Day 2. Bairstow, who featured in two big chases against New Zealand with fiery shots, was playing into himself. Good old cricket by tuk-tuk. On air, Graeme Swann said: “Bairstow looks like the shadow of the player who blew it all up against New Zealand. It’s a different quality attack here.

On the field, Kohli was starting to chirp. At one point, when crossing the overs, he shouted, “A little faster than Southee, huh?”. By the end of the second day’s play, Kohli had walked away with his hands on Bairstow’s shoulder and he was laughing at one point.

Day 3 began with Bairstow adopting a similar conservatism on Day 2. Kohli began to find her voice. Bairstow also regained his lungs. The two verbally objected. Bairstow signaling with his gloved fingers that Kohli was yelping. Kohli put her finger to her mouth and motioned for her to knock. Bairstow waved him back onto the field. At the far end stood England captain Ben Stokes with a soft smile crinkling his face.

The referees entered the scene. Both players nodded and returned to cricket. Bairstow began to attempt to attack. A few questionable drives followed, with the bat missing the ball by a large margin. Two hacks, basically.

It’s tense between Virat Kohli and Jonny Bairstow 😳#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/3lIZjERvDW

— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 3, 2022

In the slides, Kohli started to laugh. He threw his head back, started telling anyone who would listen how badly Bairstow was missing the ball.

At the end of the plus, the referees again entered the scene. More talks. At the end of which, Kohli was seen laughing and landing a friendly shot at Bairstow.

Jonny Bairstow strike rate ahead of Kohli luge – : 21
After tobogganing – 150

Pujara ki tarah khel rahe thhey, Kohli ne Pant banwa diya bewajah sledge karke #IndvsEng

— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 3, 2022

That’s when things started to turn England’s way. Bairstow maintained his aggression and the ball began to disappear over the defenders’ heads. Stokes rushed down the track and mistimed a high lift to cover, but Shardul Thakur knocked him down. Bairstow continued to play his shots – pull-ups, drives, slick shots and the runs started to sink. At one point, the camera zoomed in on Kohli, who was looking at either the dashboard or the giant screen.

Shortly after, Bairstow turned fifty, hit gloves with Stokes, showed his bat to his box and looked up at the sky with his eyes closed. It had taken him 20 minutes to score his first run. And after his interaction with Kohli, he started to flow.

Bairstow initially put Bazball on the back burner and was on 12 of 47 balls. Then, on 13 of 60, the verbal interaction with Kohli occurred. He shifted gears and galloped to his third consecutive Hundred Test on 119 balls.

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