War of words: Jimmy fires 1st salvo, calls Kohli a liar

London: Virat Kohli feels “it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t score runs as long as India win” but England pace spearhead James Anderson says the Indian captain has to be lying if he states that his individual form won’t be a factor in the upcoming five-Test series starting August 1.

“It doesn’t matter if he gets runs or not? I think he is telling lies there,” Anderson said in jest when asked about Kohli’s statement. At the beginning of the ongoing tour, Kohli had laughed off queries about his form, stating that he intends to enjoy his time here rather than obsess over his individual form as long as the team does well. “For India to win here, of course it matters. Virat will be desperate to score runs for his team, as you would expect from the captain and one of the best players in the world,” Anderson said.

Interestingly, there is a heat wave in England at present and the conditions could suit India more in the upcoming series. “I think in India, pitches are a lot slower. Here you would expect a little more pace in the wickets, so maybe the bowlers have that little extra. We have had a hot few weeks (and a hot summer overall). So the pitches may well be dry and suit India more than us. That is something we will take into account when we come into that series. We will be hopeful that we have a couple of weeks of rain before the series starts and be able to grow some grass on the wickets,” he said.

Best batsman in the world

  • With AB de Villiers retired, Steve Smith serving a year’s ban and Kane Williamson enjoying some off time during New Zealand’s winter, this summer promises to be a clash between two in-form batsmen, Kohli and Joe Root. Having bowled to all of the above names, Anderson was asked to pick the best batsman in world cricket at the moment.
  • “It is hard to pick one of them because they are all different in their own way. They have all got a lot of qualities. The thing that makes them stand out above other batsmen around the world is how they adapt to all different forms of the game. So, I will sit on the fence and say these are the best batsmen in the world, and not pick one,” Anderson said.