Former England spinner Graeme Swann slammed Indian skipper Virat Kohli for getting involved in a war of words with all-rounder Ben Stokes on the first morning of the fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli exchanged a heated conversation shortly after the Durham all-rounder made his way to the middle after England lost their skipper Joe Root courtesy of a nip-backer from Mohammed Siraj.
Eventually, one of the on-field umpires had to intervene to separate the duo. Graeme Swann, who was on air for Channel 4 at the time, blamed Virat Kohli for the spat, terming his attempt to ‘butt’ into the batsmen’s conversation as ‘childish’
‘A little conflab in the middle between Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli, not sure what it’s about, it seems very friendly,’ former England spinner Swann said on Channel 4 before the duo got up close and personal. ‘Maybe it’s not quite so friendly,” said Graeme Swann on Channel 4.
‘The umpire’s stepping in. I want a clean fight lads, nothing below the belt, when the bell goes you go back to your corners. ‘It’s not really up to the fielders to butt into the batsmen’s conversations when they’re out in the middle,” he said. ”Just let them get on with it, and you get on with your own game. It all seemed a bit childish to me” Graeme Swann added.
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Commenting on the Virat Kohli-Ben Stokes verbal altercation, Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar said:
‘That works in the fielding side’s favour because the batsman’s concentration is gone. At this particular point in time, nothing will happen to Virat Kohli for the simple reason he’s fielding. 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,”
Ben Stokes, meanwhile, went on to play a brilliant knock of 55 off 121 balls, before he was eventually trapped leg-before-wicket by Washington Sundar.