'No need': Virat Kohli's 'classless' act divides cricket world

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Virat Kohli's gesture towards England fans became a big talking point in the fourth Test. Pic: Getty
Virat Kohli's gesture towards England fans became a big talking point in the fourth Test. Pic: Getty

India captain Virat Kohli has left the cricket world divided after taunting fans during his side's dramatic victory over England in the fourth Test.

England's hopes of achieving a famous victory were left shattered after a woeful day five batting collapse at The Oval and an inspired bowling display from the visitors.

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The home side had been set 368 to win, which would have been a national record for a fourth-innings chase eclipsing the 9-362 made against Australia at Headingley two years ago.

However, it was India that took a 2-1 lead in the series after England collapsed from 2-141 to 6-147 midway through the fifth and final day.

Shortly after tea, India wrapped up a 157-run success to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

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They had built a decent platform at 0-77 overnight and with Rory Burns making 50 went to lunch still in contention at 2-131.

But ten runs later Haseeb Hameed, who had dug in to score 63, was bowled by a ball pitched into the rough by Ravi Jadeja.

A clatter of wickets followed as England collapsed. Ollie Pope was bowled off his pads by Jasprit Bumrah for two, the seamer, bowling superbly with the old ball, following up by dismissing Jonny Bairstow, yorked for a duck. 

Aussie Spin King Shane Warne labelled Bumrah's bowling effort the "spell of the summer" on Twitter.

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“I’m really proud of the character the team has shown, especially this morning, the way we bowled,” India captain Virat Kohli told Sky Sports.

“I think it’s definitely among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain.”

However, it was Kohli's actions towards England fans that became a talking point during the contest, as he appeared to mock the Barmy Army.

With England's batsmen crumbling, the India skipper celebrated a wicket by turning towards the Barmy Army and pretending to play one of the trumpet's they so often blast from the stands.

Some viewers thought it was a brilliant way for the Indian captain to give England fans a taste of their own medicine, while others thought it reeked of bad sportsmanship.

Either way, Kohli's contentious moment became a big talking point on social media.

English cricket journalist Lawrence Booth sarcastically tweeted: “Love this. His teammates are celebrating a wicket, but Kohli finds the time to taunt the England fans. Doesn’t miss a trick!

“To clear up any confusion, I don’t really love this. I find it weird when a top-class sportsman isn’t content with winning a game, having totally outplayed the opposition, but wants to stick it to the fans too.”

Ex-England opener Nick Compton added: “It doesn’t look good for him! No need.”

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England collapse hands victory to India 

When Moeen Ali then fell to Jadeja for another duck on day five - the 43rd suffered by England this calendar year - England's hopes of victory looked grim.

That left England fighting only to save the game. Their last hope of that went when captain Joe Root chopped on for 36 at 7-182.

It did not take India long to wrap up the innings, Umesh Yadav working through the tail to pick up 3-60 while Bumrah took 2-27 off 22 overs.

Jadeja and Shardul Thakur also claimed a pair of wickets apiece as England were dismissed for 210.

Pictured here, Virat Kohli celebrates India's fourth Test victory against England.
Virat Kohli celebrates India's fourth Test victory against England. Pic: Getty

"It was unbelievable," Kohli told BBC Radio. 

"We love being written off and I think a lot of people after [England won at] Leeds said, 'will India be able to come back?'

"But we've shown time and time again that we are a top side and we have been at the top for a while now, and that's because of the belief and the passion that we have in this group. This win is as special as [the win at] Lord's, if not more."

England captain Joe Root said: "It's frustrating. All three results were on the table. I thought we set a platform to go on and win the game. It was a brilliant spell of bowling that bust it open for India.

"We've got to look at the whole game. Our catching has to improve. We'll do some learning. The good thing is we don't have to long to dwell on it. We'll be right up for it again when we get to Old Trafford."

The final Test starts in Manchester on Friday.

with AAP

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