Ind vs Eng 4th Test: Allrounder Ben Stokes was undoubtedly the main protagonist for England both with the bat and in hurling choicest of words to Indian bowlers on day one of the 4th and final Test match in Ahmedabad. But for him, it was another day in office, playing down the incident of swearing-in and verbal altercation with Md Siraj.
“The thing in cricket nowadays is that it becomes a massive talking point when two opponents have a word with each other. People seem, I do not know, not lose their heads but they think it is all wrong. Look at it from a different way, guys care about what they are doing and what they are representing. Playing against each other, we are competitors and we are not going to back down to anyone, whoever it may be. It is nice to see two competitors going toe to toe against each other and no one is backing down. For me, that was it, two competitive guys trying to get over each other,” Stokes said during the virtual press conference after the end of day one’s play.
Md Siraj bowled with fire and pace knowing he had to fulfil the limited role of a bowler on rotation from one end along with Ishant Sharna, as spinners would eventually take over on the first day of the 4rth Test between India and England in Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
But that limited role included firing up bouncers down the sleeves and checking the helmet of Ben Stokes and in one such occasion, Ben Stokes chose to “cross the line.”
“When I bowled a bouncer to Ben, usne mujhe gali diya to Virat bhai ne ake sambhal liya (he used abusive language and Virat Kohli intervened and the matter was resolved),” Siraj told commentator Murali Kartik on Thursday during his post day comments with the official broadcasters Star Sports.
In the first hour itself on 13th over, when Siraj bowled a fiery bouncer, Stokes uttered those censored “choicest of words” to the young pacer. Virat Kohli got behind his pacer and had a brief exchange of words before the on-field umpire intervened and separated the two players.
“May be it’s not quite so friendly, the umpire has stepped in, I want a clean fire lads, nothing below the belt,” the on-air commentator was heard saying.
The banter between Siraj and Stokes continued when the Hyderabad-born came in to bowl his next over. Stokes hit 3 boundaries in the over.
Earlier, England won the toss and elected to bat first. India made one change as Siraj replaced rested player Jasprit Bumrah in the playing XI.