AHMEDABAD: Unleashing their animal spirits, India were seen playing mind games with England’s Zak Crawley. It started with a verbal onslaught and ended with the latter squandering his wicket to a bad shot.
‘‘Someone is getting angry now... bad shot coming, boys!’’ captain Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant were overheard on stump mic taunting Crawley. Seconds later, whether unnerved by Indian sledging or not, Crawley trooped down the pitch against Axar Patel, attempting to silence the hosts in the best way possible. The result was predictable: In a bid to thump the spinner over mid-on, he only managed to top-edge the ball straight into the hands of Mohammed Siraj at mid-off and the 23-year-old was dismissed for just nine.
There was more drama with an animated – some would say ‘heated’ -- discussion between Virat Kohli and Ben Stokes in the first session on day one; finally, the umpires had to intervene and separate the two.
The incident happened after the England all-rounder had just come into bat, with Mohammed Siraj having dismissed Joe Root. Siraj, on the final ball of the same over in which he trapped Root leg-before, fired an ugly bouncer, following which Stokes had a few words with the Hyderabadi seamer.
Kohli soon jumped into the ring to have a word with the all-rounder and his batting partner Jonny Bairstow. The chat heated up, and the Indian skipper was visibly unhappy with something Stokes said to Siraj. The conversation carried on for a while and the umpire was seen trying to separate the two, even signalling an invisible wall between them. "May be it's not quite so friendly, umpire has stepped in, I want a clean fire lads, nothing below the belt," the on-air commentator was heard saying.