Former Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Farokh Engineer lauded Virat Kohli for his aggression and giving it back to opposition teams, highlighting the way India stitched a fiery comeback and script a remarkable win over England in the 2nd Test at Lord’s earlier this month. Farokh Engineer, speaking to SportsTak, said he has always believed in giving it back to opposition teams and earn their respect. The 83-year-old former cricketer though urged India and their skipper to have controlled aggression.
Notably, Virat was at his fiery best during the Lord’s Test, especially after Jasprit Bumrah and James Anderson were involved in a heated on-field battle. India was reeling behind while heading into Day 5 of the Lord’s Test, but Bumrah and Mohammed Shami resisted England’s charge and added 89 runs for the 9th wicket. Eventually, India managed to bundle out the hosts for a meager score of 120 while defending 271 runs to go 1-0 up in the 5-match series.
Talking about Virat Kohli, Parikh Engineer said, “I admire Virat for that. He has been an aggressive captain. It’s good. Of course, it has to be within limits. Otherwise, the umpire or the match referee can intervene. He gets a bit too carried away, at times. But I like his aggression. He is a very good captain. I am all for it. He is I think one of the finest batsmen in the world.”
He further added, “Also, they do sledging, so that your batsman lose confidence. But Bumrah and Shami were khadoos (stubborn), they replied in their own way. They couldn’t bat very well but they knew how to survive. By surviving, they got a lot of runs and those runs were very important in enabling Virat to declare the innings. That was humiliating for England.”
Recalling the sledging battles from his playing days, Engineer, who played 46 Tests and 5 ODIs for India, said he was focused on giving it back to opposition teams with his performances on the field.
Farokh Engineer recalled, “They used to call us ‘bloody Indians’. I gave it back to them on the pitch by scoring runs and wicketkeeping and all that. And they began to realize that Indians are not stupid. They understood that Indians are sturdy and in no way inferior. We Indians were used to keeping quiet. But I was the first person to start giving it back to them. When you give it back to them, they start respecting you.”
India and England will lock horns in the 3rd Test, scheduled to be commencing on August 25 at the Headingley in Leeds.