England made a brisk start to Day 3 proceedings in the rescheduled fifth Test of the series in Birmingham. Resuming at 84/5, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes added another 65 runs before Jasprit Bumrah’s heroic effort at mid-off region brought the end of England captain’s innings on 25. Before the dismissal, however, things turned rather tense on the field with India’s Virat Kohli and Bairstow engaging in a heated discussion. In fact, Ben Stokes had to intervene in the middle to calm things down, following which Kohli threw a friendly punch on Bairstow’s back.
Bairstow made a slow start to his innings and was beaten repeatedly off the outside and inside edges, particularly against Shami. However, following the incident, the English wicketkeeper-batter took on an aggressive approach. Bairstow was batting at 16 off 64 deliveries before his heated conversation with Kohli; in the next 39 deliveries till lunch, Bairstow smashed 75 runs.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag, renowned for being an aggressive batter himself, took to his official Twitter account as he took note of Bairstow’s aggressive approach after the sledging from Kohli.
“Jonny Bairstow’s Strike Rate before Kohli’s Sledging – 21. Post Sledging – 150. Pujara ki tarah khel rahe thhey, Kohli ne Pant banwa diya bewajah sledge karke #IndvsEng (He was playing like Pujara, Kohli unnecessarily turned him into Pant with his sledging),” wrote Sehwag.
Bairstow eventually reached his century as the play resumed after the rain delay. The England batter reached the three-figure mark with a four against Shardul Thakur; this was Bairstow’s third century in as many Tests, having smashed the last two against New Zealand.
Earlier, India put on a strong score of 416 in the first innings, with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant (146) and Ravindra Jadeja (104) smashing tons. Captain Jasprit Bumrah also broke Brian Lara’s record for most runs in an over, hitting Stuart Broad for 29 runs; the English bowler eventually conceded 35 runs in the over including extras.