Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has felt that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli came up with the plan to rattle England’s premier fast bowler James Anderson. Right on the cusp of close of play on Day 3, Jasprit Bumrah dished out a barrage of bouncers to Anderson which wasn’t well-received by the latter.
The Lord’s Test will go down as one of the most memorable victories for Team India. However, there were a few incidents that may have marred the sheen on the come-from-behind win. Things heated up on Day 5 with tempers flaring and verbal volleys being thrown around.
Most of it was a result of what happened on Day 3 when Bumrah bowled a few bumpers to Anderson, as per Manjrekar, on the behest of Kohli. This riled up the 39-year-old Englishman who later tried to dish it back out. Speaking on the matter, Manjrekar pointed out:
“I am guessing this was Virat Kohli’s plan executed by Bumrah. Go after the main guy in the opposition, soften him up a little, stir him up a bit or maybe injure him in a way that the main English weapon was blunted.”
“Kohli is genuinely aggressive and fearless” – Sanjay Manjrekar
Further praising the Indian skipper, Manjrekar felt the license to go after opposition wasn’t always granted, especially during his playing days. With the backing of Kohli however, Indian players have never backed down on any kind of verbal confrontation.
“Whatever the reason, I just loved it. Why? Because right through my playing career no captain of mine – barring one – did this to any opposition fast bowler fearing the backlash. This is Virat’s great attribute. He is genuinely aggressive and fearless and he is in your face,” he added.
England failed to keep a grip on their emotions and in their quest for ‘vengeance’, let the match slip from their hands on Day 5. Anderson, especially, was visibly disconcerted after the events that transpired.
“You could see Anderson was genuinely affected. He had lost his calm as a competitor. It seemed to me his ego was bruised a little,” Manjrekar concluded.
Three more matches will follow in the series and the stakes are high so the players will continue to be at loggerheads with each other. The next Test will be played at Headingley from August 25-29.