Cricket Column: All-sweet Kohli shuts Anderson up with a post-victory pat

Sports Monday 12/December/2016 17:17 PM
By: Times News Service
Cricket Column: All-sweet Kohli shuts Anderson up with a post-victory pat

After James Anderson chipped Ravichandran Ashwin to mid-on where Umesh Yadav gladly took the catch to beat England by an innings and 36 runs, Virat Kohli was seen patting the back of Anderson who had what looked like unpleasant exchanges with the Indian spinner a little while ago. We got to know later that Kohli was trying to tell Anderson that “these things happen” and that they should “move on”. While it looked pretty decent on the part of the Indian skipper to step in and whisper some words of wisdom into the ear of the vanquished, imagine the impact of the seemingly innocent act on Anderson who, a few hours ago, was trying to tell the world that he was not impressed by the double hundred or the 640 runs scored by the Indian skipper. Embarrassing.
Kohli’s failure in the 2014 away series has no bearing on what’s happening in 2016, in a series taking place in India. Neither England captain Alastair Cook nor Anderson was expecting the Indians to welcome them with setting up English conditions in India. They were betting on pitches that offered vicious turn from day one and were actually surprised to find out that the pitches at the first four venues were nothing like the infamous dustbowls they were scared of.
Now that the Indian pitches have reflected the natural Indian conditions, now that there have been no effort put in by Kohli to set England up on dustbowls, and now that England’s batsmen have lacked the art of defence and patience to build partnerships, it was unnecessary for Anderson to comment on Kohli’s lack of skills in the past, which was a poor excuse for their below-par performance and their collective failure to tackle the Indian bowlers, both spin and fast. Anderson should live in the present, realize he is playing on the subcontinent and come to terms with the fact that his team was beaten fair and square in three back-to-back Tests. He should admit that they have failed to get the Indian batsmen out after putting 400 or more runs on the board batting first in two of the four Tests, instead of making references that looked out of context.
It’s a fact that Kohli had failed miserably against England in the 2014 away series. He may make amend for his shortcomings in the next away series or he might fail again. That’s quite another matter but, on current form, even Cook, despite his veiled support to Anderson’s comment that Kohli was hiding his technical flaws with the help of pitches that took the nicks out of the equation, might put his money on the Indian if a series were to be played in England immediately after the Chennai Test got over.
After doing a round of victory lap to share the sweetest moment with the crowd, Kohli said Anderson looked a bit guilty when he walked out to bat at a time summed up by Mike Atherton as “England on the brink, nine down”. With more than an hour still to go for lunch and then, in the event of he and Jos Buttler surviving for so long, two more full sessions to draw the game, Anderson may have had nothing going in his favour to pull himself up, especially in the wake of his Sunday boast that they wouldn’t be trying for a draw but a win.
England have lost the series. There’s nothing Anderson could do about it, no matter what excuse he would come up with to explain away the defeat. His personal performance, as well as that of others, especially the bowlers, was disappointing. Instead of raking up the past, Anderson should look to the future. To Chennai, precisely. And try to do something that might help them escape roasting by the media when they fly back home for the Christmas break.

The writer is a freelance contributor based in India. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman