Vizag Test: War of words between Virat Kohli and Alastair Cook

Updated: Nov 24, 2016, 10:28 IST | Satish Viswanathan

Virat Kohli and Alastair Cook exchange verbal volleys after Indian skipper questions England's ultra-defensive batting on the final day yesterday

India seamer Mohammed Shami (left) exults after dismissing England batsman Joe Root (centre) in Visakhapatnam yesterday. Pic/PTI
India seamer Mohammed Shami (left) exults after dismissing England batsman Joe Root (centre) in Visakhapatnam yesterday. Pic/PTI

With both sides having traveled to this port city with honours even, things were all hunky dory between them.

It may not stay that way, what with Indian skipper Virat Kohli terming England's approach in their second innings as one with 'lack of intent' and England captain Alastair Cook stating that he didn't think the Indian bowlers were "Supermen", even after his side had been bowled out cheaply twice.

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"As I said even after the last game, England is a side we do not take for granted. We understand that they have quality players, who have played a lot of cricket, their captain has over 100 Tests, so have a couple of other players, so you expect them to show that resilience and character and fight. It is a learning process for us as well to be patient and to fight. I think that the way we bowled yesterday (on Sunday) was magnificent," said Kohli.

The Indian skipper added that he was proud that his bowlers kept it really tight at all times but felt that England's approach helped. "We thought they would come out with more intent to be honest. And to see the approach that they had obviously gave us assurance that once we get a couple of wickets, it will crumble pretty quickly because there wasn't much intent from the batsmen," he said.

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He had stronger words to say later when he was describing his own batting. "It is a pretty basic thing to do, to be honest, and if you don't have intent in the fourth innings, it is tough to play out four and a half sessions," was the Indian captain's take.

Cook, who followed Kohli in the post-match press conference, for his part, defended his team's approach but then refused to give credit where it was due. He started by stating the obvious, "they bowled well," he said of the Indian bowling performance, before pointedly adding: "They are good bowlers in these conditions. But in Rajkot we got over 700 runs." They did but here the struggle was apparent. Cook insisted that "we made them work really hard in that last innings."

He went on. "They are good bowlers but they are not Supermen by any stretch of the imagination. They are a fine bowling attack but we showed in one game that we can score runs against them, and four people scored hundreds. And this game in the last innings, we made them work really hard for their wickets." For the record, 158 all out in 97.3 overs was the England second innings total.

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