The subplot that has come out of the last Test at Lord’s has added spice to the contest. It’s the flaying tempers and verbal volleys exchanged on the last day of the intriguing. Moments after winning the Test, the Indian contingent declared they are a more dangerous side when they are riled up. David Warner had conceded last winter that sledging Virat Kohli is more likely to backfire.
England, under extreme pressure to deliver on home turf, are not going to renege on the ploy of being in the face and getting under the skin of the Indians.
“Virat’s an incredibly competitive guy. He loves the challenge. He is a great batter. To be honest, it’s one of the pleasures of playing against him,” Buttler said of India’s aggressive brand of cricket during an interaction on the eve of the third Test. “It’s privilege to be out there in competition with him and his team. We enjoy that. We have incredibly competitive guys in our team. It adds to the fixture,” he added.
The tantalizing moments at Lord’s have re-ignited the ‘spirit of cricket’ debate. But these set of players locking horns are not about taking a backward step. “At times it becomes a part of the game. It’s interesting to watch as a viewer. It boils down to 22 competitive guys in the field trying to win for their country. At times, there is ego and some words are shared but mostly in good spirits. As a side, we are very focused on what we have to do to get back in the series,” Buttler stated.
Getting back into the series won’t be easy for England. This Indian team seems to be on a roll and is sniffing the kill. This is more or less the same bunch which suffered a 1-4 drubbing in England three years ago. “The most notable difference in the Indian team is the experience. This is a side that’s been together for three years. It’s the similar group and same names. They are a confident team with lots of international games and success behind them,” Buttler said. It’s work cut out for England!