Kohli hits out at social media trolls who targeted Shami

"That's a good thing we are taking the field in place of a few spineless people on social media," Kohli said.

Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli during the T20 World Cup defeat to Pakistan.   -  Getty Images

India captain Virat Kohli has strongly come out in support of pacer Mohammed Shami, who was outlandishly trolled over his religion after India’s loss against Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup.

“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 certain situations. But I have never ever even thought of discriminating anyone over their religion,” Kohli said on Saturday, a day before India faces New Zealand in a crucial tie.

“That is a very sacred and a personal thing to every human being and that should be left there. People take out their frustrations because they obviously have no understanding of what we do as individuals.”

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Kohli added it wasn’t worth it to pay heed to Shami’s trolls if they don’t realise his role and contribution to India’s team across formats.

“They have no understanding of the fact that someone like Mohammed Shami has won India N number of matches in the last few years. He has been our primary bowler with Jasprit Bumrah when it comes to making an impact in games and in Test cricket you see him run in to bowl,” Kohli said.

'Backing him 200 percent'

“If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, honestly I don’t even want to waste one minute of my life to give any attention to those people and neither does Shami and neither does anyone else on the team.

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“We stand by him fully. We're backing him 200 percent. And all those who have attacked him can come with more force if they want to. Our brotherhood and friendship within the team, nothing can be shaken.”

Kohli stressed such criticism will do no harm to team-bonding. “I can guarantee you as the captain of the team that we have built a culture where these things will not even infiltrate into this environment .0001 percent. And that’s an absolute guarantee from my side,” Kohli said.

“There's a good reason why we are playing on the field and not a bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person. They hide by their entities and go after people through social media, making fun of people. And that has become a social pandemic 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.”


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