Kohli turns peace­maker to douse Ash­win-An­der­son fire

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Vi­rat Kohli adopted an un­char­ac­ter­is­tic role as peace­maker yes­ter­day when the In­dia cap­tain acted to pacify an an­gry ex­change be­tween off-spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win and Eng­land pace­man James An­der­son on the fi­nal day of the fourth test.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred when Eng­land num­ber 11 An­der­son walked out to bat and was greeted by a vol­ley of an­gry words by Ash­win, whose views were echoed by his team mates in the in­nings and 36 runs vic­tory for the hosts.

Ash­win ap­peared irked by An­der­son’s com­ments on Sun­day that Kohli’s tech­nique was not be­ing thor­oughly tested on the docile pitches in In­dia af­ter he hit 235 at the Wankhede Sta­dium for his third dou­ble hun­dred of 2016.

Eng­land’s record wicket-taker in tests dis­missed Kohli four times dur­ing In­dia’s tour of Eng­land in 2014 but the bats­man has flayed An­der­son and his bowling part­ners this time, al­ready amass­ing 640 runs in the on­go­ing se­ries at an av­er­age of 128. “For the first time I was try­ing to calm things down in the mid­dle at a time when James An­der­son is in­volved,” a grin­ning Kohli, who is of­ten very demon­stra­tive on the field, told re­porters af­ter In­dia moved 3-0 ahead in the five-match se­ries.

“Ash­win wasn’t pleased with what he (An­der­son) said in the press and I didn’t even know about it. He told me on the ground. “So I didn’t know what to make of it, I was laugh­ing about it, Ash­win wasn’t too im­pressed and he let him know with­out us­ing any bad words, hon­estly,” Kohli added.

“I think he (Ash­win) told me he was pretty dis­ap­pointed with what he said and it is im­por­tant to ac­cept de­feat as it is. Later on, I told James th­ese things hap­pen and let’s move on.”

An­der­son has a his­tory of dis­putes with In­dia and the team filed a charge against him for push­ing Ravin­dra Jadeja dur­ing the Trent Bridge test in 2014.

He was later cleared by the gov­ern­ing body In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC). Yes­ter­day, the con­tretemps be­tween Ash­win and An­der­son threat­ened to boil over with Eng­land cap­tain Alas­tair Cook say­ing it was un­nec­es­sary and left a “sour” taste.

“It was a bit of a sour end re­ally. A dis­ap­point­ing end in terms of how well the spirit’s been be­tween both sides,” Cook said. “It was clearly ref­er­ence to what Jimmy said yes­ter­day which has kind of been blown out of all pro­por­tions, which it can do here. He was just stat­ing a fact which if you asked Vi­rat is prob­a­bly quite true.

“But yes it was ob­vi­ously just stick­ing up for their cap­tain which I thought was slightly un­nec­es­sary.” — Reuters

MUM­BAI: In­dia cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli (L) cel­e­brates with Ravin­dra Jadeja (2nd L), Ravichan­dran Ash­win (3rd R) and their team­mates dur­ing a vic­tory lap af­ter win­ning the fourth Test cricket match against Eng­land at the Wankhede sta­dium in Mum­bai yes­ter­day. — AFP

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