The English all-rounder Ben Stokes has slammed the Indian captain Virat Kohli, for his statement regarding the length of boundaries during the 2019 World Cup league stage match in Birmingham. India suffered a 31 runs defeat in this match. This is the only instance when the Indian team lost a match in the group stages in that World Cup. After the match, Kohli came out and said that they could not help themselves due to the shorter boundaries.
England won the toss and elected to bat first. The openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow smashed the Indian bowlers all over the park. the spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal suffered a bad day at the office, as they gave away 120 runs in 20 overs. Chhal picked up the only wicket of Jason Roy. Bairstow scored a century and Stokes and Roy scored a half-century each. Both Roy and Bairstow stitched up an opening partnership of 160 runs.
Virat expressed his disappointment over the fact that the English batsman hit sixes off reverse sweeps at the venue. “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,” Kohli said during the post-match press conference.
Ben Stokes said that he has never heard of a such a bizarre comment
Now, the English all-rounder Ben Stokes has come out and criticized Virat Kohli’s statement. Stokes was one of England’s key players in the World Cup. The Englishman termed Virat’s statement as one of the worst complaints a player can ever make. He expressed his opinions in his book, titled ‘Ben Stokes on Fire’. He said that he felt weird after Virat Kohli questioned the size of the boundaries.
“… 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 is the worst complaint you could ever make,” Stokes said.
India, during most of their batting innings, went about the run chase smoothly. Rohit Sharma scored 102 runs. Virat Kohli himself also scored 66. Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni scored a couple of 40s each. However, India ended up scoring only 306 runs. Rishabh Pant also made his World Cup debut in that match after coming on as a replacement to injured Shikhar Dhawan.
Virat Kohli and his priorities
Well, every cricketer has his likes and dislikes. Kohli expressed his opinion and Stokes didn’t like it. However, that is how the game is and the show must go on. Post the lockdown, it will be interesting to see these two stars face off in the Indian Premier League.
The IPL may still happen this year, while the T20 World Cup is likely to be postponed. It will be interesting to see though how the cricket is played. Many former and current stars have expressed their opinions on the matter already. Only time will tell.