World Cup: Kohli wins hearts, asks fans to support Smith
Two-time champions India came up with an enthralling performance to beat title holders Australia in the ICC World Cup 2019 at The Oval on Sunday. Following the win, Indian skipper Virat Kohli urged fans to support Steve Smith. On the field as well, he had asked the fans not to boo the ex-Australian captain. His move was appreciated by many, including former cricketers.
Kohli urges fans twice to cheer for Smith
It first happened during the Indian innings, when Smith was fielding at the third man near Vauxhall End. As the crowd booed him, Kohli looked up at the stand and asked the fans to cut it and cheer him. Also, during Australia's chase, the section of the crowd booed Smith when he walked out to bat, with Kohli urging them to clap for him.
Kohli gestures crowd to cheer for Smith
Kohli didn't want Indian fans to set a bad example
Following the incident and the match, Kohli said that he didn't want the Indian crowd to set a bad example. Kohli stated that he felt that Smith didn't do anything to be booed, as he was just playing the game of cricket for his country. Kohli also said that he apologized to Smith on behalf of the Indian fans.
Kohli explains why he urged fans to support Smith
Smith feels the heat following ball-tampering incident
Smith, along with his Australian team-mate, was at the center of controversy last year when these two were charged for plotting a ball-tampering incident in a Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Post the incident, the two were banned for a year by Cricket Australia (CA). Both made their return to competitive cricket in IPL 2019, but have been facing the heat since.
Kohli believes no point pondering about the past
Kohli also said that what happened to Smith was a long time back, and that the latter is back now. He also stated that while they had issues in the past, it is not fair to see him getting treated in the way every time he walks out. "What's happened has happened. He's back, he's worked hard and he's playing well," Kohli concluded.
How did the match pan out?
India defeated Australia by 36 runs. Winning the toss, India got off to a dream start and that helped them set the base for a big score. Kohli joined in and played a gem of an innings as well. In reply, Australia started off cautiously and stayed in touch. But Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up wickets to halt their progress.