The former England captain Andrew Strauss does not do social media, which is lucky given the likely response to his comments about Virat Kohli’s behaviour in the second Test.
Towards the end of play on day three, Kohli got involved in a heated discussion with the umpire Nitin Menon after he gave Joe Root not out lbw. The TV review showed it was the “umpire’s call” as to whether the ball hit Root in line or not, so the decision stood.
Kohli was visibly irate about it. “It’s that slightly superior attitude he shows,” Strauss said, “that grates with opposition players.” But England’s spin bowling coach, Jeetan Patel, was smart enough to stay out of it.
“It’s not for me to comment on,” Patel said. “That’s for the match referees or whoever.” When pressed, though, he defended Kohli. “I feel he plays at his best when he’s got that excitement and passion for the game, and he’s shown that again today. He’s scored a game-changing innings [of 62 runs], and he needs those sorts of things to stay up. That’s just the way Virat plays, the way he gets the best out of himself and the way he gets the best out of the crowd.”
Patel had some sympathy about the reaction to the umpire’s decision, too. The lbw certainly looked plumb. “Let’s be honest, I would have been disappointed if it was given not out.”
Earlier in the day, Kohli had another hot conversation with Menon after he was warned for running on the pitch. Patel, who said he was a bit of a hothead himself in his playing days, said he understood. “It’s cool to see, for me when I played I was passionate as well, I needed that, and I can see why he does it, because it gets him up, and gets him going.”
Patel was more interested in talking about how England’s spinners are coming on, and was especially pleased with the way Moeen Ali bowled in his first Test in 18 months. “I’m just gutted he didn’t get a five-for, but he’s taken eight wickets and probably deserved nine or 10,” Patel said. The spinner took four for 98 in the second innings and four for 128 in the first.
“I suppose the one thing Mo wanted, and needed, was a bit of love from the game, and I think he’s got that – hopefully he can score some runs and really fall in love with red-ball cricket again.”