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  5. Ben Stokes recalls Kohli's 'bizarre' WC complaint, India's approach in England game in his book 'On Fire'

Ben Stokes recalls Kohli's 'bizarre' WC complaint, India's approach in England game in his book 'On Fire'

Stokes found India's approach a bit surprising given that they had wickets in hand. He also spoke about how this might no longer be the smart way of approaching the game as the required run-rate starts piling up and it starts impacting those that come in at the fall of a wicket.

IANS Written by: IANS New Delhi Published on: May 18, 2020 16:49 IST
Virat Kohli in action during W]orld Cup 2019 game against
Image Source : AP

Virat Kohli in action during W]orld Cup 2019 game against England

England's journey to the elusive 50-over World Cup title in 2019 can be described as the perfect dream. Going in as favourites and finishing as champions. But if one brings in perspective and dwells into the past and the backlash that came with it, England winning the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is one of the greatest "rags to riches" story in the gentleman's game. And who better than Ben Stokes to take fans back into flashback mode with his book "Ben Stokes On Fire".

In his book, Stokes also recalled England's do-or-die game against tournament favourite India at the Edgbaston. The hosts managed a challenging 337 for seven following a century by opener Jonny Bairstow. In reply, India managed 306 for five. Men in Blue, especially former skipper MS Dhoni, was criticised for his batting approach in the game. 

Stokes too found India's approach a bit surprising given that they had wickets in hand. He also spoke about how this might no longer be the smart way of approaching the game as the required run-rate starts piling up and it starts impacting those that come in at the fall of a wicket. But what surprised Stokes most was skipper Virat Kohli's reaction in the post-match ceremony.

Kohli had criticised the small dimensions of the ground, something which didn't please the England all-rounder.

"... it was weird to hear India captain Kohli whingeing about the size of the boundaries at the post-match presentation ceremony. I have never heard such a bizarre complaint after a match. It's actually the worst complaint you could ever make," recalls Stokes.

Kohli, after that game, had said that the small boundaries at the venue may have been designed to help the hosts to win the crucial game. 

He had said: "The toss was vital, especially since the boundary was that short.

"It's a coincidence that it just falls under the limitation of the shortest you can have in the tournament. Quite bizarre on a flat pitch. It's the first time we've experienced that. It is crazy things fall in place randomly.

"If batsmen are able to reverse sweep you for six on a 59-metre boundary there is not much you can do as a spinner. One side was 82 metres.

"They had to be a bit smart in the lines they bowled, but you can't do much with a short boundary.