Kohli steps in as fans boo Smith: 'Didn't want Indian fans to set bad example'

Steve Smith, who has returned to the Australia squad after completing his ball-tampering ban, was jeered by the Indian fans at the stadium when Kohli gestured to the crowd, asking them to applaud Smith instead.

Kohli: "In my opinion, he is just playing the game. If I were in his place and had apologised for [a mistake] and was still jeered like this, I would feel bad too."   -  getty images

In the rough world of sport where the winner takes all, it is good to see an empathetic heart. Virat Kohli was upset when a section of the Indian fans booed at Steve Smith during the course of the World Cup match at the Oval here on Sunday.

The Indian captain gesticulated to the crowd to pipe down and also requested that Smith should be cheered. Later he also had a word with the Australian batsman.

 

Asked about the incident, Kohli said: “I feel for him. Look we have had a few incidents in the past, we have had our arguments but now he is coming back. I noticed this in the IPL too that he is keen to play and there were some incidents. It happened today too (fans booing) and I felt bad for him. I went and apologised to him on behalf of the crowd. Look he has apologised, made his comeback and if he still gets booed, I mean if it had happened to me, I too would have felt bad.”

India beat Australia by 36 runs at The Oval to move to the third spot in the points table. It takes on New Zealand next while Australia will square off against Pakistan.