Cricket icon Virat Kohli tried to mimic England superstar Joe Root by making his bat stand upright at the crease - but the former India captain failed to pull off the trick as his bat couldn't stand upright.
Earlier this month, Root left fans stunned after a TV clip went viral showing England’s former captain leaving his bat standing upright without him holding it with either hand during the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s. The moment occurred during Root’s partnership with Ben Foakes on the fourth morning of the match, which England went onto win.
Standing at the non-striker's end, Root was clearly not touching his bat for several seconds as New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson ran in to bowl. To the amazement of viewers, his bat stood perfectly upright and allowed Root to casually grab the handle as he geared up to run.
Kohli was clearly impressed by Root’s move, and was filmed trying to imitate him during India’s warm-up Tour game against Leicestershire. The 33-year-old tried to make his bat stand twice before giving up, clearly amused at his own attempts.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan had a funny take on the incident, as he referred to the comparisons between the two batters. Vaughan wrote: “Virat not in the same Bat balancing league as Joe.”
It capped a strange day for Kohli in Leicester. After India were five-down, Kohli formed a successful partnership for Srikar Bharat and appeared in confident mood as he hit four fours and a six.
He appeared set to continue rolling to achieve a big score but fast bowler Roamn Walker bowled a full delivery and got Kohli for LBW. Kohli was confused by the call and asked the umpire about the dismissal, but the batter eventually left the field.
India are currently engaged in a warm-up match against Leicestershire ahead of their fifth and final Test match against England that is to take place on July 1 after it was originally suspended midway through last year due to Covid. This is a warm-up match allows players to swap sides, and four Indian players - Prasidh Krishna, Rishabh Pant, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Jasprit Bumrah - have played for the county.
Ultimately, Kohli could not imitate Root’s mastery of his bat. Test Match Special posted the clip to Twitter along with the caption: “Anyone know how he did this?” - alongside an exploding head emoji.
Gary Lineker labelled Root a ‘magician’, and the 31-year-old certainly conjured up some magic against New Zealand that day. Root scored an unbeaten 115 to lead England to a five-wicket win against the Black Caps.
It was Root’s ninth century in Test cricket since the start of 2021, proving he remains one of the finest batsmen in the world.