"He was bit of an idiot..": Alex Lees on Virat Kohli's sledging tactics
In a new book titled "Bazball: The Inside Story of a Test Cricket Revolution," authors Nick Hoult and Lawrence Booth recount an incident involving Alex Lees and Virat Kohli during the 2022 Edgbaston Test.
During the 2022 Edgbaston Test, the postponed England-India clash carried significant stakes. England entered the final match trailing the home series from the previous year by a score of 1-2. Despite the challenge of chasing a record 378 in England, Lees managed to contribute with a notable 56 off 65, establishing a formidable 107-run opening partnership alongside Zak Crawley. The pair achieved this feat in a mere 19.5 overs, ultimately enabling England to surpass the formidable total in just 76.4 overs and thereby leveling the series.
Throughout the Test, Virat Kohli attempted to unsettle the opposition players on several occasions. His encounter with Lees was one such notable instance. Despite Kohli's on-field provocations, Lees remained unperturbed and characterized the accomplished Indian batter's behavior as that of an "idiot."
Alex Lees replied Kohli with a sarcastic comment
“He was just carrying on in a fashion he can do sometimes. He had been getting under people’s skin in the field when he was batting. I’m not fussed about someone’s position in the game. We are all equal out on the pitch. I just wasn’t going to put up with someone trying to intimidate me. It was as simple as that. He is an incredible player, but I thought he was just being a bit of an idiot.”
Lees, however, eventually reached his limit and responded with a sardonic remark about Kohli's century drought. “I’ve had two kids since you last scored a century.”
Following a century in a Test against Bangladesh in November 2019, Kohli endured nearly three years without scoring an international century until September 2022 when he achieved the feat in a dead-rubber face-off against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup. Lees gleaned this information from the media and tactfully highlighted it to Kohli, who posted scores of 11 and 20 in the two innings of the Edgbaston Test.