Former England captain Nasser Hussain has hailed Indian wicket-keeper KS Bharat for convincing an animated Virat Kohli not to go for a review for a caught-behind appeal against Steve Smith during day 1 of the WTC final at The Oval.
The incident occurred in the 27th over of the innings when Mohammed Shami bowled a short ball that got big on Smith and went over his left shoulder as he attempted a pull.
With several Indian players going up in appeal, Virat Kohli was convinced there was an edge. However, Bharat calmed Kohli down and convinced him that the ball did not take the edge of Smith's bat, thus ensuring Rohit Sharma did not waste a DRS review.
Applauding Bharat's actions in just his fifth Test match for India, Hussain said during his commentary stint:
"He was very tough with Virat Kohli. Not easy to overrule Kohli but that's exactly what he did. Kohli wanted to review that but Bharat, playing in his fifth Test match, had to run to King Kohli and say 'Nope, you got that wrong'. Brave man, but right."
Former India coach Ravi Shastri also weighed in on the incident and was asked by Justin Langer if players in the team can oppose Kohli, to which he said:
"He jolly well be a senior, Yes, these batsmen, and the competition ( referring to Steve Smith). If it was anybody else, he would have been half as expressive. In fact, Pujara of all people had to say, 'Virat, calm down. calm down'."
Much of the debate ahead of the WTC final was whether to play KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan as wicketkeeper. India opted to go with Bharat, and the decision seems to have been vindicated with the 29-year-old taking a couple of excellent catches to dismiss Usman Khawaja and David Warner.
"I always love batting with Steve" - Travis Head on day 1 of the WTC Final
Australian middle-order batter Travis Head spoke about his magnificent unbeaten 251-run partnership with Steve Smith on day 1 of the WTC final against India.
Coming in with Australia struggling at 76-3, Head decimated the Indian bowling with a brilliant counter-attacking knock of 146* off 156 deliveries to take Australia to 327-3 at stumps.
After the day's play, Head spoke about the joy of batting with the former Australian captain.
"It's nice when you have got a bloke at the other end playing as well as he is," Head said. "I always love batting with Steve, I always feel I go under the radar because there are so many plans bowling to him. You say second fiddle, but I feel like I am doing that to him."
Travis Head was instrumental in Australia finishing atop the points table for the 2021-23 WTC cycle, scoring 1,208 runs in 17 games at an average of 52.52.