Captain Kohli says he backs Shami ‘200 per cent’
Touted as one of the favourites going into the tournament, India are in a tricky situation after two successive humiliating defeats : Photo: PTI

Captain Kohli says he backs Shami ‘200 per cent’

India captain Virat Kohli has stood by his bowler Mohammed Shami, who was subjected to vile abuse on the social media after India lost its opening match against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.

Kohli said he backs Shami “200 per cent”.

“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. They hide behind their identities and go after people through social media, making fun of people and that has become a social entertainment in today’s world, which is so unfortunate and so sad to see,” Kohli said at the press conference on Saturday (October 30), a day before India play New Zealand.

“I stand by Shami 200 per cent,” said Kohli.

It seems the social media needed easy victims for India’s drubbing at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan and fast bowler Shami became an easy target for obvious reasons.

Kohli said attacking someone for that person’s religion is “pathetic”. “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 over what they feel about a certain situation, but I personally have never ever even thought of discriminating anyone over their religion. That’s a very sacred and personal thing to every human being,” said the India captain, adding that the team is fully behind Shami.

“People take out their frustrations because they obviously have no understanding of what we do as individuals. They have no understanding of how much effort we put on the field. They have no understanding of the fact that someone like Mohammad Shami has won India a number of matches in the last few years and he’s been our primary bowler with Jasprit Bumrah, when it comes to making an impact in games,” said Kohli.

“If people can overlook that and his passion for his 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 in the team. We stand by him fully. We are backing him 200 per cent, and all those who have attacked him, can come with more force if they want to. Our brotherhood, our friendship within the team, nothing can be shaken.”

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