Verbal battles begin

Verbal battles begin

Heating up

Verbal battles begin

After a somewhat subdued passage of play in the opening Test and during India’s first innings in the second here, things have begun to heat up between the two teams.

Verbal exchanges and face-making incidents did spice up the contest but fortunately didn’t cross the limits. It all started when Matt Renshaw appeared to come in the way of R Ashwin as the bowler attempted to stop Steve Smith’s shot down the pitch. Virat Kohli questioned Renshaw and then Smith spoke disapprovingly of it to Ashwin. One thing then led to another.

Renshaw, however, saw the funny side of it all even as Kohli egged on the crowd to put him under pressure.

“It was really loud out there when he was doing that (urging the crowd on),” he pointed out. “It's something I'm probably not used to but it's about embracing different conditions and different challenges that we get. I was just trying to enjoy it and trying to laugh at what he was saying because some of it was quite funny.”

And what did he say? “He was just saying that I might need to run off and go to the toilet again, which happened in Pune. It was quite funny.”

Renshaw had retired ill in the first Test after an upset tummy forced him to take a toilet break.

Kohli and Smith too were seen exchanging words which definitely weren’t pleasantries. “There was a bit of talk but I think that's because they're trying to unnerve each other (Smith and Kohli) and get under the skin. But it's all good fun; good contest out there… We took it pretty well. We know that they're trying to get under our skin because we've got 1-0 lead in the series. We took it pretty well and were just trying to get on with the game.”

Smile, Renshaw felt, is the best way to tackle such situations. “I don't try and say too much out there, I just try and smile because in my past experience smiling seems to unnerve the bowlers a bit more than talking back, so I was just trying and enjoy it out there,” he remarked.

Smith and Ishant Sharma were also involved in animated exchanges and made faces at each other that had the crowd in splits.