England vs. India 1st Test: Virat Kohli lights the fuse at Edgbaston
India captain Kohli ‘drops the mic’ after running out England skipper Joe Root
Aggro galore as England take on India
Virat Kohli caused controversy on the first day of the Edgbaston Test with a flurry of gestures that could land the India captain in hot water.
A moment of brilliance from Kohli turned the England innings on its head when he ran out Joe Root to end a menacing partnership with Jonny Bairstow. England were looking good at the time, with Root’s 80 having helped his side to 216-3.
But when Bairstow called for an optimistic second run, Kohli pounced, shattering the stumps with a direct hit that sent Root back to the pavilion. England then experienced one of their customary collapses to finish the day on 285-9.
But it was was Kohli’s reaction in the seconds after his run out of Root that raised eyebrows. According to the Daily Mail, it began with him blowing kisses to Root and Bairstow. The Indian skipper also appeared to mouth an obscenity before putting a finger to his lips for the benefit of the Birmingham crowd.
Mic drop takes the mick
If that wasn’t enough he also appeared to mock Root by mimicking his “mic drop” celebrations after England had won the one-day series at Headingley last month.
The mic drop gesture has been popularised by singers and comedians to signal the end of a defining moment, and when Root deployed it, it didn’t go down well with India. The Englishman later said he was embarrassed by the “car-crash” celebration and he hoped it didn’t come back to haunt him. It has.
So revenge was sweet for Kohli, particularly as the tourists are now firmly in control of the first Test despite a breezy knock by Root that made him the quickest England batsman to reach 6,000 runs. However, it was the 11th successive time that he has reached 50 but failed to turn it into a century.
Sparks might fly
The home side tried to play down the incident at the close of play with England opener Keaton Jennings apparently relaxed about Kohli’s behaviour.
“Everybody is entitled to celebrate how they want to,” said Jennings, whose score of 42 was bettered only by Root and Bairstow’s 70. “He celebrated, and that’s cool.”
Jennings was more concerned with the collapse, which has left England in a precarious position. “It has been a little bit of a missed opportunity,” he said. “But we’ve got nearly 300 on the board, and we need to be relentless hitting our areas with the ball. We don’t know yet what a good score is.”
As for the run-out that sparked the capitulation, he said: “That’s cricket. You make errors. Whether it was a mix-up, I don’t know. But it’s down to them to shake hands, have a beer and sort it out.”
According to the BBC’s cricket correspondent, Jonathan Agnew, there could be explosive consequences when England bowl to Kohli today.
“They will not have liked seeing their captain being treated like that,” said Agnew. “Sparks might fly in the remainder of what already looks to be a compelling series.”
The second day of the first Test at Edgbaston starts at 11am today. The match is live on Sky Sports.