Former England cricketer David Lloyd has remarked he had really enjoyed how Indian players, including Virat Kohli, whom he labelled 'pantomime villain', came up to congratulate England after their historic chase of 378 at Edgbaston on Tuesday. Lloyd further went on about his thoughts on Kohli.
While several former cricketers and experts across the world went on to criticize Virat Kohli because of his unpleasant gesture towards Jonny Bairstow in the fifth Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, former England player David Lloyd did not echo with them, rather he enjoyed how it all ended. Lloyd asserted he really enjoyed how Indian players gave warm greetings to Ben Stokes and Co. after they successfully saw off the record-breaking 378-run target to level the five-match series 2-2.
Bairstow, who was adjudged Player of the Match for his hundreds in both innings, initially struggled to get the timing right in the first innings. Kohli, after watching that happen on numerous occasions, told his teammates that the Englishman can't even watch the ball. Things got heated up from there on, and an exchange of words was seen between Kohli and Bairstow. However, the atmosphere went cool after Ben Stokes came to Kohli with a smile, and asked him to slow things down. Kohli, after that, punched Bairstow in a friendly manner.
"I thought the on-field scenes at the conclusion of the game were glorious, with India's players warmly congratulating Root and Jonny Bairstow and recognising the epic job they had done. Special mention for Virat Kohli, who is the proudest and most combative India cricketer, and at times plays the pantomime villain, but who had a special word to both players. I like that," Lloyd wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
Although Lloyd did not exactly like the way Kohli sledged Bairstow at that point. In fact, he jokingly claimed they should 'take up cage fighting' if similar things happen in the future.
"Having said that about Kohli, I do sometimes wonder where the line is and who draws it. Sportsmanship, banter, gamesmanship, boorish behaviour, insults, abuse - we saw everything on the fourth day. Of course, cricket is a non-contact sport and the trader is safe in the knowledge that he or she can't get hurt. But if a player feels the need to engage another, my advice is to take up cage fighting and have a proper go. Let's see what you're really made of," Lloyd added.