Joe Root says that he welcomes the spice that Virat Kohli’s “mic-drop” celebration will add to the England-India Test series, after his dismissal to Kohli’s direct-hit run-out turned the tide of England’s innings on the first day at Edgbaston.
Root, on 80 at the time, had been dominating India’s bowling in a century partnership with his fellow Yorkshireman, Jonny Bairstow, when he fatefully responded to Bairstow’s call for a second run to midwicket in the first hour of the final session.
Kohli swooped on the ball and beat Root’s dive at the non-striker’s end with a pinpoint shy, before mimicking Root’s own actions in the decisive ODI at Headingley last month, when he marked his series-winning century with a rapper-style “mic-drop” of his bat.
Speaking after his Headingley innings, Root had admitted he “would not hear the end of it”, adding that his own team-mates had been ribbing him incessantly for the gesture. Kohli has taken that prediction and run with it.
“I didn’t see it in the middle,” Root told Sky Sports before the start of the second day’s play. “I obviously saw it last night at the end of play.
“I actually think it adds to the whole spectacle of Test cricket, it gives a bit of humour to it, and it makes for a very entertaining series for something like that to happen so early on, so we’ll see how things pan out over the course of the five Test matches.”
Quite apart from its sense of theatre, Root’s dismissal was the key moment of England’s innings. From a position of relative strength at 216 for 3, England lost their next six wickets for 69 to reach the close on a dicey 285 for 9. Bairstow, who had been distraught at his part in the wicket, fell three overs later for 70, but Root refused to blame his team-mate.
“It was one of those things in the heat of the moment,” he said. “You want to try and pinch as many runs as possible. You hear a call and you trust your mate.
“It’s human error, it happens unfortunately, but Jonny was kind enough to give me a lift into the ground this morning. I could have said no, there’s no hard feelings, we’ve just got to move on with it.
“It was a disappointing last session, but for the majority of the day, we played some really good cricket. And that’s what we’ve got to take into today. It was a surface that actually did a bit all day, There was seam movement at the back end of the day, and that fills our bowlers with confidence. And if we can find a really good length early on, we can do a lot of damage.”