Boris Johnson    Getty Images
Boris Johnson is United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Getty Images

Kolkata: Impressed by the enthusiasm of budding cricketers at an academy, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson on Thursday told former India batsman Arun Lal it was a firm indicator that England needed to be wary of India in the future.

A relaxed Johnson spent around fifteen minutes with the children at the Arun Lal Cricket Academy. “He is a sport. He spent time with the kids and had encouraging words for them. He was surprised by the number of kids enthusiastically taking part in the sport and said this why we should be worried,” Lal, who played 16 Test matches for India, told reporters.

On the ongoing England tour of India, Johnson said the hosts have taken a liking to their rivals. “I told him you are catching up in this match and when I said Virat [Kohli] is out he seemed relieved,” Lal added referring to the ongoing One-Day match between India and England at Cuttack. Kohli scored only 8 runs but centuries from Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni helped India recover from a poor start to post 381 for 6 in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Barabati Stadium on Thursday. Yuvraj Singh scored 150 while MS Dhoni contributed 134.

Full cricket scorecard: India vs England, 2nd ODI

A smiling Johnson entered the premises half an hour late straight from the airport. He did some batting too, leaning forward to one delivery and hitting the ball straight down the field. The shot was squarely applauded as Johnson left soon after to a flutter among the locals who quizzed journalists who the person was. The former Mayor of London was on a visit to the city to take forward the UK partnership with West Bengal and hold discussions with a cross section of Bengal society on prospects for furthering Bengal-UK business and people-to-people partnerships.