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Cricketing world praises Virat Kohli for coming to Steve Smith’s rescue at The Oval

Among the current and former players who praised Kohli are current Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Michael Vaughan, Sanjay Manjrekar and others.

Virat Kohli gesture
Virat Kohli gesture. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India captain Virat Kohli set up a statesman-like precedent at the Kennington Oval on Sunday by standing with Australian player Steve Smith. It was during India’s batting when Kohli was on the field and he noticed a section of the Indian supporters booing Smith. The Indian captain did not like it and he gestured at the supporters of the blue brigade to not do so and instead clap for the opponent cricketer. Kohli’s gesture was applauded in turn in the cricketing world with several cricketers – both former and current – turning up to pat him.

Kohli in fact also apologized to Smith on behalf of the Indian crowd which the latter gracefully acknowledged. It is to be remembered here that the two had a confrontation during a Test series played in India in 2017 in which Smith was leading Australia. He had a “brain fade” moment to seek a reference from outside the ground which had left Kohli livid. However, this time, the Indian captain decided to stand by the Australian for he thought it was not a right way of treating a man who has already gone through a lot of hardships.

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Smith and Warner are being booed constantly in England

Smith, along with Warner, was tainted after indulging in a ball-tampering scandal during a Test series in South Africa last year that saw the duo getting banned for a year. They missed a year of international cricket between March 2018 and 2019 and made a comeback to the national team only recently.

However, even though they faced the punishment and missed a valuable year in their career, both Smith and Warner are being targeted ever since they have set foot on the English soil. Smith was even booed while scoring a century in a warm-up game against England prior to the World Cup. It is being expected that the Ashes that follows the World Cup in August-September will witness a repetition of such action in the stands.

“He’s (Smith) just playing cricket. He was just standing there, and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I had apologized, I accepted it and I came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it, either,” Kohli later said in a press conference. Smith top scored for Australia with 69 in 70 balls although his side lost the clash by 36 runs.

Among the current and former players who praised Kohli are current Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Michael Vaughan, Sanjay Manjrekar and others.

Here is what they said on the incident:

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