On-field umpires Nitin Menon and Virender Sharma earned praise from former Indian cricketer-turned commentator Sunil Gavaskar for intervening and timely putting the verbal altercation between Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes to rest.
Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes have been at each other throughout the series and the morning session of the fourth Test between India and England saw yet another instance where the duo got involved in an exchange of words.
It all happened at the end of the 13th over of England innings when Ben Stokes said a few words to pacer Mohammed Siraj.
Siraj did not respond but skipper Virat Kohli decided to take matters into his own hands as he proceeded to get stuck into Stokes, who was in a midst of a conversation with Jonny Bairstow.
The duo got involved in a war of words before the umpires intervened and ensured that the matter did not escalate.
During the Lunch break, Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports that such kind of things can sometimes spill over and it was good on the officials’ part to diffuse the matter before it got ugly.
“These kinds of things do happen. The heat is on. That’s why I got my hat on as well. These kinds of things can sometimes spillover,” said Sunil Gavaskar. “The bowler said something to the batsman, the batsman said something to the bowler, and it can spill over,” he added.
“But it was good to see the umpires coming and making sure it’s nipped before it gets ugly. It’s part of the game, both players are doing their best for the country, trying to win the game, and therefore the emotions can sometimes get the better of you,” he further said.
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Ben Stokes, however, buckled down after his verbal spat and proceeded to play a brilliant knock of 56 before he was trapped plumb in front by off-spinner Washington Sundar.