MUMBAI (Reuters) - Virat Kohli adopted an uncharacteristic role as peacemaker on Monday when the India captain acted to pacify an angry exchange between off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and England paceman James Anderson on the final day of the fourth test.
The incident occurred when England number 11 Anderson walked out to bat and was greeted by a volley of angry words by Ashwin, whose views were echoed by his team mates in the innings and 36 runs victory for the hosts.
Ashwin appeared irked by Anderson’s comments on Sunday that Kohli’s technique was not being thoroughly tested on the docile pitches in India after he hit 235 at the Wankhede Stadium for his third double hundred of 2016.
England’s record wicket-taker in tests dismissed Kohli four times during India’s tour of England in 2014 but the batsman has flayed Anderson and his bowling partners this time, already amassing 640 runs in the ongoing series at an average of 128.
“For the first time I was trying to calm things down in the middle at a time when James Anderson is involved,” a grinning Kohli, who is often very demonstrative on the field, told reporters after India moved 3-0 ahead in the five-match series.
”Ashwin wasn’t pleased with what he (Anderson) said in the press and I didn’t even know about it. He told me on the ground.
“So I didn’t know what to make of it, I was laughing about it, Ashwin wasn’t too impressed and he let him know without using any bad words, honestly,” Kohli added.
“I think he (Ashwin) told me he was pretty disappointed with what he said and it is important to accept defeat as it is. Later on, I told James these things happen and let’s move on.”
Anderson has a history of disputes with India and the team filed a charge against him for pushing Ravindra Jadeja during the Trent Bridge test in 2014.
He was later cleared by the governing body International Cricket Council (ICC).
On Monday, the contretemps between Ashwin and Anderson threatened to boil over with England captain Alastair Cook saying it was unnecessary and left a “sour” taste.
“It was a bit of a sour end really. A disappointing end in terms of how well the spirit’s been between both sides,” Cook said.
”It was clearly reference to what Jimmy said yesterday which has kind of been blown out of all proportions, which it can do here. He was just stating a fact which if you asked Virat is probably quite true.
“But yes it was obviously just sticking up for their captain which I thought was slightly unnecessary.”
Editing by John O'Brien