Jonny Bairstow calls clash with Virat Kohli that saw umpires step in before his century against India ‘a bit of craic’… and plays down the hefty total England will chase to deny the ‘fiercely competitive’ visiting captain victory
- Jonny Bairstow had a spat with Virat Kohli during the third day of the fifth Test
- Umpires Azeem Dar and Richard Kettleborough stepped in to calm the row down
- The England batsman had 13 runs at the time of the spat but went on to make 106
- Bairstow labelled the altercation ‘craic’ and a show of the India captain’s passion
Jonny Bairstow played down his on-field spat with Virat Kohli despite it appearing to be the catalyst for his third hundred in as many Test matches.
England’s man of the 2022 summer had just 13 runs to his name at Edgbaston when he became involved in a heated exchange with former India captain Kohli, who was fielding in the slips.
Umpires Aleem Dar and Richard Kettleborough stepped in to calm things down, and Kohli later playfully punched Bairstow on the arm as he walked past at the end of an over.
Virat Kohli (left) and Jonny Bairstow exchanged heated words during England’s clash with India
Umpires stepped in to calm the altercation between India captain Kohli and the England star
‘We’ve played against each other for a solid 10 years now. It’s a bit of craic,’ Bairstow said.
‘We’re fiercely competitive on the field and that’s what it’s about. We’re playing Test cricket and we’re two competitors. It brings the best out of us.
‘Whatever it takes, you want to get your team over the line and that’s part and parcel of the game. It’s passion. It’s what you play for.’
Kohli could only watch on as Bairstow hit his latest hundred following their impassioned ‘craic’
Nevertheless, it appeared to stoke the fire within Bairstow, as he drastically changed the tempo of his innings. Having faced 63 balls for his initial 13 runs, he rocketed to his 11th Test hundred by hitting 87 from his next 56.
His departure soon afterwards for 106, however, left England to concede a 132-run deficit on first innings. By the close of day three, India had swelled that to 257 with seven second-innings wickets standing.
It leaves the prospect of Ben Stokes’s team needing to chase in excess of 300 for the first time this summer. Only victory will prevent them slipping to a series loss as they currently trail 2-1.
‘Whatever is set is set. There is no point looking at figures. We know it’s a Test match and it will be a day four and day five pitch that we will be playing on,’ Bairstow added.
The pair had seemed in a better mood with each other on the second day’s play at Edgbaston