World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli’s gesture at Wahab Riaz wins hearts across border

World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli’s gesture at Wahab Riaz wins hearts across border

Kohli also made the headlines towards the end of the innings when he walked off the crease thinking that he had edged one from Mohammad Amir to wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Virat Kohli and Wahab Riaz
Virat Kohli and Wahab Riaz. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India had two terrific Sundays this June as they beat Australia and Pakistan in the ongoing ICC World Cup. While Virat Kohli’s men beat defending champions Australia by 36 runs at the Oval on June 9, they backed it up with an 89-run win over Pakistan at Old Trafford on June 16. It was a solid batting performance by the Indians in both games and captain Virat Kohli also chipped in with 82 and 77, respectively, although his openers stole the show on both days.

Batting, captaincy and statesmanship, Kohli doing it all

However, while Kohli’s sharp captaincy and flawless batting won hearts in the crucial games, a third aspect also won his friends across the board and it was his statesmanship. While Kohli came to the rescue of Australian cricketer Steve Smith after he was being booed by the Indian fans at the Oval and asked the supporters to cheer him instead, he expressed a sympathetic gesture towards Pakistani pacer Wahab Riaz in Manchester on Sunday. His gesture even earned adulations on the other side of the Wagah.

It was during the India innings when Kohli was batting with centurion Rohit Sharma that the incident took place. Riaz bowled to Kohli and then slipped on his follow through. Kolhi took a run but en route, he put a hand on Riaz’s back to check if he was fine. The two cricketers exchanged a smile and the bowler got up to bowl again. Pakistani supporters lauded Kohli for his sportsmanship.

Kohli also made the headlines towards the end of the innings when he walked off the crease thinking that he had edged one from Mohammad Amir to wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed. However, TV replays showed later that the ball had not touched his bat. The Indian fans were disappointed but their Pakistani counterparts hailed Kohli for not waiting for the umpire’s decision.

India eventually made 336 for 5 in 50 overs after Sarfaraz won the toss and asked them to bat first. KL Rahul gave Rohit a robust opening partnership in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan even though they gave the Indian fans some scary moments with run-out chances. Pakistan managed 212 for 6 in 40 overs when they were required to make 302, hence losing by 89 runs.

Here are some reactions that Kohli’s gesture at Riaz got at Old Trafford