Virat Kohli praised the first-class cricket structure in India that aided the team in registering a stunning 137-run victory over the Aussies at MCG on Sunday.
While the captain did not take names, his response comes after Australian commentator and former cricketer Kerry O’Keefe triggered controversy for his ‘racist’ remarks about debutant Mayank Agarwal and the domestic scene in India earlier this week.
“Our first-class cricket is amazing, which is why we won. Credit must go to first-class set-up in India, which challenges our fast bowlers in India, and that helps them abroad,” said Kohli after winning the MCG Test and retaining the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“Our first class cricket is amazing … credit has to go to our first class setup back home.”
— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 30, 2018
Jasprit Bumrah, who became the highest wicket-taker in international cricket in 2018 after demolishing 9 wickets in Melbourne, also credited Ranji Trophy for his performance. Bumrah was adjudged man-of-the-match for his efforts.
“To play Test cricket is a great feeling, be it Boxing Day or any other day. I always wanted to play Test cricket. I made my India debut in Australia, so great feeling. I am really happy to contribute to team’s success,” Bumrah said after receiving the award.
“I always focus on consistency. When you have so many options, you may get confused. Someday you get wickets, someday another mate will, but we don’t think about those. Bowled a lot, but I don’t mind, because this is why we train. We bowl a lot in Ranji-Trophy cricket, and it pays off. When I made my ODI debut, it was always a dream to play Test cricket,” he added.
Good to see that Bumrah credits his bowling in first class cricket for his success
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 30, 2018
Kohli fans were amused by Kohli’s subtle burn.
Isa: “What do you put this success down to?”
Kohl: “Our first class cricket is amazing…”
What an answer by Kohli to Kerry 😂😂😂#AUSvIND
— Mitul (@Eme2ul) December 30, 2018
Isa Guha : What do you put this success down to?
Virat Kohli : Our first class cricket is amazing.
Giving it back to Kerry O’Keeffe and a bunch of dumb commentators right after the victory 😂😂😂#AUSvIND
— Prajakta Bhawsar (@ViratsFangirl18) December 30, 2018
India’s captain, Virat Kohli, and Man of the Match Jasprit Bumrah both credited the first-class structure in India following their win over Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.#AUSvIND
— Just Cricket 🏏 (@BatBallStumps) December 30, 2018
Isa Guha : What do you put this success down to ? @imVkohli : Our first class cricket is amazing.
— Sanjeevcasm (@sanjeevcasm) December 30, 2018
Finally Indians replied to sh*t head Kerry O’Keefe:
Jasprit Bumrah: We bowl a lot in Ranji Trophy & it pays off.
— Principle Patel (@PatelSiddhant_) December 30, 2018
— Utkarsh (@jstutkarsh) December 30, 2018
Doing commentary for Fox Sports, alongside Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, during the third Test match between India and Australia, Kerry O’Keefe remarked that the triple century that Agarwal had scored earlier in the Ranji Trophy, came against some team like ‘Canteen XI’, where the bowlers were some chefs and waiters. He was also critical of India’s domestic cricket scene, and even Waugh was heard saying that 50 runs for India is 40 runs for Australia.
His remarks were met with social media ire.
It might just be me, but it’s pretty uncool to ridicule the FC comp of another country while using dubious stereotypes for a cheap laugh…
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) December 26, 2018
After the uproar, O’Keefe had apologized for his remarks.
“I was mentioning the runs Agarwal got in first-class cricket in India and there’s been a reaction. There was no way I was demeaning the standard, it was tongue in cheek. There are lots of runs scored so apologies if anyone out there took offense,” O’Keefe said.
Mayank Agarwal became only the second debut, Indian batsman, to open the innings at the MCG Test in Australia, joining Amir Elahi at Sydney in 1947.
Agarwal also went onto to become the second Indian opener to score 50 runs on his debut away from home after the great Sunil Gavaskar.