England allrounder Ben Stokes has said it was weird to see Virat Kohli complaining about the size of the Edgbaston cricket ground after India’s 31-run defeat to England in the World Cup 2019. India’s winning run in the tournament had come to an end with that defeat against England who went on to win the tournament.
The defeat, however, did not derail India’s campaign as they ended the league stage at the top of points table before losing to New Zealand in the semifinal. But after the loss, Virat Kohli, had expressed his displeasure over the size of the boundary after the Indian bowlers were taken to cleaners by England.
The hosts had piled up 337 in the allotted 50 overs after winning the toss. Johnny Bairstow led the show with a 109-ball 111 and Ben Stokes chipped in with a 54-ball 79. In reply, India ended their innings on 306. Following the game, Kohli had complained about the ground size, saying:
“The toss was vital, especially looking at the boundaries that are this short. Bizarre that it just falls in place with the boundary limitations and with a flat pitch such as this. It’s crazy that things fall in place like that randomly. It’s the first time we are experiencing this.”
“If batsmen are able to reverse sweep, sweep you for a six on a 59-meter boundary you can’t do much as a spinner. They had to be smarter with their lines as it was difficult to contain runs with one short boundary,” he had added.
Ben Stokes responds:
Almost a year after that match, Ben Stokes has responded to Kohli’s comments. At that time, no player from the England camp had said anything about it. In his book ‘Ben Stokes on Fire’, the World Cup-winning allrounder insisted that he was surprised to hear Kohli ‘whinge’ about the dimensions of the Edgbaston cricket ground. Ben Stokes also said it was the ‘worst complaint’ one could make as a captain.
“… it was weird to hear India captain Kohli whingeing about the size of the boundaries at the post-match presentation ceremony. I have never heard such a bizarre complaint after a match. It’s actually the worst complaint you could ever make,” Ben Stokes wrote in his book.