Jonny Bairstow spoke in good humour after a heated on-field altercation with Virat Kohli on Sunday, joking he won’t invite the former Indian skipper for dinner. He went on to acknowledge the good relationship the two players share and said he relishes such closely fought encounters.
Jonny Bairstow extended his golden streak of form against India on the third day of the ongoing Edgbaston Test by racking up another memorable century. The wicketkeeper batsman looked composed throughout the knock despite the attacking intent of his shots.
In an intense moment during his innings, the wicketkeeper batsman got into a spat of words with Virat Kohli. The former Indian skipper was caught on the stump mic asking Bairstow to bat quietly, eventually causing the umpires to intervene between the two. Nevertheless, Bairstow was quick to ridicule any thoughts of tension off the field, humoring reporters with his quick wit.
"Refused to invite him for dinner," Bairstow joked at the press conference.
"As I mentioned earlier, there was literally nothing. We've been fortunate to play against each other for ten years. So, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to have dinner. Don't worry about it," he added.
The 32-year-old is playing his 87th Test currently and has racked up over 5,000 runs in the all-whites for England. The veteran has been playing in the international arena for over a decade and understands that passion runs high during such well fought battles.
"We're very lucky to be out there playing because that's why we play the game, isn't it? Two very competitive people out on the field doing what they love. And that's why we play the game. You've got 11 guys on each side that are very passionate to do so well for their country,” he stated.
Bairstow’s 106 helped England claw back from 83/5, and salvaged some hope of avoiding defeat. The hosts currently trail India by 257 runs, with the Men in Blue still having seven wickets in their kitty. The wicketkeeper batsman didn’t hesitate to praise the opposition’s quality, relishing the passion of the encounter.
"And yeah, look, it's passion, it's what you play for ... So, I hope that clears it up but, look, it was great crack out there and to be playing against a fantastic team in India is, is always going to be tough. And like I said, you've got to absorb those tough periods of time and and try and shift and wrestle momentum back at others," he explained.