England steer clear of verbal clash with Kohli

Wednesday 01st September 2021 08:01 EDT

Craig Overton, the Somerset paceman, admitted that England had had a “tricky” day in which they only took two wickets as India ate into England’s first-innings lead of 354. Kohli finished the day unbeaten and Overton suggested that England, who got caught up in a war of words in a fractious final day of the second Test at Lord’s, which they lost, had avoided sledging him.

“I think he’s one of those characters who wants to get into a battle and as a side we are just trying to make sure that we do our business as best we can and not exactly ignore him but make sure that we stick to the basics of what we do well and go from there,” Overton said. It was Overton who made the first breakthrough with the last ball before lunch, removing KL Rahul, thanks to a stunning diving catch by Jonny Bairstow, but it was a rare high point for England.

“We knew they’d come back and fight today,” Overton said. “We know what they are like as a team and what their characters are like so we knew it was going to be tricky but we just had to do what we had been doing over the last two days and make the most of what we had. Credit to them though, they made it really hard for us.” Overton admitted that James Anderson, who went wicketless in the 19 overs he bowled, had “struggled for rhythm” on a difficult day for England but he believes that the bowling group stuck to their task and that they didn’t get the rewards that they were, perhaps, due.

“I think we bowled better than the two wickets suggests,” Overton said. “But they also played very well - which they are entitled to do - but ideally we would have got three or four. “We only need a couple more wickets to get into their bowlers. “We are still in a good position in the game especially with the new ball in the morning. “If we get a couple of early wickets we can hammer it home a bit more. The new ball is massive.”

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