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Virat Kohli Lashes Out at Trolls Who Attacked Mohammed Shami; Calls It Pathetic

Virat Kohli has lashed out at the trolls who attacked Mohammed Shami after the defeat against Sunday.

Updated
Cricket
3 min read
Virat Kohli Lashes Out at Trolls Who Attacked Mohammed Shami; Calls It Pathetic
i

Indian captain Virat Kohli hit at the trolls and so-called fans of the team, making it very clear that communal attacks weren’t acceptable and that the team was very much behind Mohammed Shami.

Kohli called the social media trolls spineless. India and New Zealand are both looking for their first points at the men’s 2021 T20 World Cup after losing their opening games against Pakistan.

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The 31-year-old Shami was the main target after the 10-wicket defeat in Dubai against Pakistan, even though Kohli acknowledged that his side had been “outplayed".

Shami was subjected to vicious online trolling and abuse on Instagram and Twitter soon after the match between India and Pakistan ended, in which he conceded 43 runs in 3.5 overs. Many current and former cricketers condemned the abuse which Shami received on social media.

"To me, attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing that a human being can do. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion and what they feel about a certain situation. But personally I have never, ever, even thought of discriminating someone over their religion. That is a very personal and sacred thing to every human being and that should be left there. People take out their frustrations because they have no understanding of what we do as individuals and how much effort we put on the field," Kohli said in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

"They have no understanding of the fact that someone like Mohammed Shami has won India 'n' number of matches in the last few years and has been our primary bowler with Jasprit Bumrah when it comes to making an impact in the games in Test cricket. If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, honestly, I don't even want to waste even one minute of my life to give any attention to those people.

"We stand by him fully. We are backing him 200%. All those people who have attacked can come with more force if they want to. Our brotherhood and friendship within the team, nothing can be shaken. I can guarantee you that as a captain of the team that we have built a culture where these things will not infiltrate into this environment .0001%. That is an absolute guarantee from my side."

Further commenting on the abuse Shami received on social media, Kohli termed the trollers as 'bunch of spineless people'. "There's a good reason why we are playing on the field and not some bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person. Behind our entities, go after our people through social media and making fun of people. That has become a source of entertainment in today's world which is so unfortunate and so sad to see because this is literally the lowest level of human potential that one can operate at. That's how I look at these people.

"We as individuals understand what we want to do on the field and the strength of character and mental toughness that we have. Precisely, what we are doing on the field and none of them are in the vicinity to even imagine doing something like that. They do not have the courage or spine to do that. So, that is how I see things. All this drama that is created on the outside is purely based on people's frustrations and their lack of self-confidence, compassion. Hence, they find it so amusing to go after people. So, we as a group, understand how we need to stick together, back individuals and focus on our strengths."

Hundreds of messages were left on Shami’s Instagram account saying he was a “traitor" and should be thrown out of the Indian team.

However, support poured in from his many fans and celebrities from all walks of life too backed the bowler.

Speaking about facing New Zealand, Kohli played the talk about pressure. He said that how the fans and people outside the dressing room see things is not the way the team works.

"Whether people portray it as India can't afford to lose another game, that's none of our business. We will play sport as we understand exactly how sport goes. How people think on the outside has no value whatsoever inside the group," Kohli said.

"As I said, people don't understand what it takes to do the job on the field. We just carry on doing what we do.

"If a game is off, take the learnings from it and move forward. Not one game is more important than the other. Every game of cricket is as important."

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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