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  • Nasima Akter

Bairstow-Cummins Handshake Echoes Kohli-Gambhir in IPL

Bairstow-Cummins Handshake Echoes Kohli-Gambhir in IPL

The second Test of the 2023 Ashes series at Lord's witnessed an intensification of tension between the English and Australian cricket teams. The incident that sparked the controversy was Jonny Bairstow's run-out, further exacerbated by England captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum expressing their discontent. Although Bairstow refrained from vocalizing his feelings, his silent exchange with Australian captain Pat Cummins after the match spoke volumes. Interestingly, this encounter draws parallels to a similar incident involving Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli during the IPL 2023.

During the final afternoon of the Lord's Test, just moments before lunch, Bairstow left his crease after evading a short delivery from Cameron Green. While the ball was still in play, wicketkeeper Alex Carey removed the bails, sparking a spirited debate on the spirit of cricket. Despite the dismissal being well within the rules, Bairstow's exit became the focal point of discussion, with Stokes questioning Australia's intentions and McCullum suggesting that it strained the relationship between the two teams.

A viral video posted on Sky Cricket's Twitter account captured a fresh perspective on the incident. Bairstow and Cummins found themselves face-to-face during the customary post-match handshakes. As Cummins greeted the England players, the expression on Bairstow's face spoke volumes, encapsulating the tension that had transpired between the two teams. The commentator in the video aptly remarked, "Here is that handshake, take a look...if only looks could kill."

This handshake between Bairstow and Cummins bears a striking resemblance to the one between Gambhir and Kohli during the IPL 2023 in April. It occurred after the first-leg match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Lucknow Super Giants at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Following LSG's narrow victory, Gambhir gestured towards the crowd, and an intense handshake ensued between him and Kohli. This encounter foreshadowed their subsequent heated altercation during the second-leg fixture.

Despite the English team's reaction, Cummins maintained that he saw nothing wrong with the dismissal, revealing that it was a pre-meditated strategy by the Australian side. In an interview with Sky TV during the post-match presentation, Cummins stated, "I think Carey saw it happen a few balls previously, three or four balls previously, and there's no pause, catch it, straightaway and throw at the stumps. I thought it was totally fair play. That's how the rule is. Some people might disagree. That's how I saw it."

Cummins further elaborated on the incident during the press conference, saying, "You see Jonny do it all the time. He did it on day one to Davey Warner. He did it in 2019 to Steve [Smith]. It's a really common thing for keepers to do if they see about a batter keep leaving their crease. So Kez [Carey], full credit to him. He saw the opportunity. I think Jonny did it a few balls beforehand. Rolled it at the stumps. Jonny left his crease. You leave the rest to the umpires."

The Lord's Test and the ensuing aftermath serve as a testament to the intensity and competitive spirit of the Ashes series. The incident between Bairstow and Cummins echoes past encounters, where emotions and rivalries ran high. While the tension between the teams may continue to simmer, cricket fans eagerly await the next chapter in this captivating saga, which showcases the passion and drama that define this historic contest between England and Australia.


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