'We won't be shutting up...' - Jonny Bairstow opens up on verbal duel with Virat Kohli in Edgbaston Test

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jul 04, 2022, 06:33 PM IST


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Speaking after Day 3's proceedings, Jonny Bairstow opened up on the war of words between Virat Kohli and him and played down the battle.

Day 3 of the fifth and final Test between India and England started with a fiesty contest between Jonny Bairstow and Virat Kohli. Batting on 13* (61), Bairstow said something to the former Indian captain when the players were exchanging ends between overs. Kohli, not someone to keep shut, was in no mood to listen to Bairstow and gave it back to the Englishman, saying 'shut up, just stand and bat'. 

Despite being at the receiving end from Kohli, the in-form Bairstow exploded after the verbal duel and smashed his next 87 runs off 58 balls to reach triple figures in a jiffy before falling for a 140-ball 106 in England's first innings (284), giving India a healthy 132-run lead. Speaking after Day 3's proceedings, Bairstow opened up on the war of words between Kohli and him and played down the battle.

"We've played against each other for a solid 10 years now, so it's a bit of craic. We're fiercely competitive on the field and that's what it's about. We're playing Test cricket, we're two competitors, that's why we play the game and that's what brings the best out of us. You want to be out there, you want to do your best and you want to win. Whatever it takes, you want to get your team over the line," Bairstow said at the press conference, terming the exchange of words as part and parcel of the game.

After stumps on Sunday, India are in a commanding position; being 125-3 with an overall lead of 257 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara (50*) and Rishabh Pant (30*) in the middle. Hence, Bairstow said England will do anything to ensure India do not run away with the game on the penultimate day. "If we nick a couple of them in the morning (on Day 4), and Stokes mentioned it at the toss, we'll have a chase and that's exactly what we'll be trying to do. We won't be shutting up shop, that's for sure," Bairstow was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

After losing Kohli for 20 (40), India will look to post anything over 250 in their second essay to give a challenging total to Ben Stokes & Co. in a bid to win their first-ever Test series on English soil since 2007.