Virat Kohli outburst caps off unlikely England Test comeback

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Virat Kohli is seen talking to England batsman Alex Lees (left) before he is seen being subsequently cautioned by umpire Aleem Dar (right).
Virat Kohli's overly exuberant celebration when England's Alex Lees was run out lead to him being cautioned for his behaviour by umpire Aleem Dar. Pictures: Getty Images

Indian captain Virat Kohli was cautioned for his behaviour by the umpire as England moved towards an impressive comeback in the first Test at Edgbaston.

England's disastrous first innings looked to have put the visitors in the box seat, having set the hosts a target of 378 for victory.

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However England look to have quickly shaken off their first innings yips, making it to stumps on day four at 3/259, thanks to an strong opening partnership from Zak Crawley and Alex Lees, before Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow finished the day unbeated on 76 and 72 runs respectively.

The only sour note was Ollie Pope being dismissed for a duck, though it was Kohli's reaction to Lees' run-out which attracted scrutiny.

Root had called Lees through for an ill-advised single which cost the opener his wicket, prompting an over-the-top celebration from Kohli after a frustrating morning in the field.

Kohli was described as having gone 'absolutely berserk' over the successful run-out, with umpire Aleem Dar having a word with the former Indian skipper.

The Indian star has already attracted criticism for his behaviour in the first Test, having blown a kiss to Bairstow after catching him in the slips during the first innings, while his first and second innings scores were nothing to write home about.

For his part, Lees was unperturbed by the controversy, backing the incoming Bairstow to score runs - which he did.

“I just wanted to give it a good whack to be honest with you!,” he told Sky Sports at stumps.

“We are in an unbelievable position. Joe doesn’t stop scoring runs and Jonny is in the form of his life.”

England in winning position after stunning Test comeback

With 119 needed and belief implausibly high after knocking off 277, 299 and 296 against New Zealand in the last month, England go into the final day as favourites.

A full house of more than 23,000 will be in attendance to watch the latest unlikely victory charge of the Stokes-Brendon McCullum era after Warwickshire followed the example of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire by offering free entry for the final day.

Root and Bairstow came together with 109 on the board and with India swarming after taking out the top three for two runs either side of tea.

India captain Jasprit Bumrah had ripped out Crawley and Ollie Pope to get his side's adrenaline pumping, before Lees was run out following a miscommunication with Root.

While England's fearless approach to batting continues to astound, they would have been staring at an even bigger challenge had it not been for an excellent effort with ball in hand. India held all the cards on 3-125 at the start of play, but lost their remaining seven wickets for 120.

Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow speak together on the pitch during the first Test between England and India.
England batters Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow put on an incredible show to help resurrect their chances against India. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Cheteshwar Pujara carved Stuart Broad to slip for 66 and first-innings centurion Rishabh Pant made a mess of reverse sweeping Jack Leach on 57 as both failed to turn good starts into match-winning scores. Stokes also did a fine job of rounding up the lower order with a barrage of short balls, taking the last three to claim four for 33 - his best figures in almost five years.

Lees then charged his third delivery of the innings and swatted Mohammed Shami for four through mid-wicket to set the tone of England's reply. He and Crawley put on 100 before the end of the 20th over - England's fastest century stand for the first wicket.

India pegged England back with that trio of wickets but Root and Bairstow rebuilt before taking the attack back to India.

England joy was tempered by an allegation of racial abuse from the stands which prompted a investigation by ground officials. The England and Wales Cricket Board expressed concern.

With AAP

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