The Indian team continued the winning momentum in their second match and probably the biggest clash of the World Cup 2019 extravaganza in a stylish fashion. The Men in Blue registered a fabulous 36-run win against Australia at The Kennington Oval in London on Sunday (June 9). It was a pretty clinical performance from the two-time champions as first they posted a massive total on the scoreboard due to Shikhar Dhawan's amazing innings and then bowled well to contain the opposition batsmen.
Virat Kohli was certainly a happy man after his team registered its first victory against Australia in a World Cup league match for the first time since 1987. The Indian captain too won the hearts of many with his sporting gesture during the game when some of the Indian fans first started booing Steve Smith and then also called him 'cheater, cheater'.
The incident occurred when the former Australian skipper was fielding at third man region near the Vauxhall end. Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya had been dismissed at that time and suddenly the crowd started to go after Smith with some foul remarks. Kohli, who was batting on the other end, asked that area of the crowd and gestured to cut this out. He instead made a 'clap' gesture and pointed towards Smith. Kohli also did the same when Smith walked past, with both players shaking hands.
The second instance happened as Smith walked out to bat during Australia's big chase. Another section of the crowd this time booed and started the same chants again. Kohli, who was fielding at mid wicket then, looked up and made a folded hand sign, before asking them to cut it out again. Smith ended as the top-scorer for his team with a fine innings of 69 runs, but his effort went in vain.
He didn't do anything to be booed
"There are so many Indian fans here, I just didn't want them to set a bad example to be honest. He didn't do anything to be booed, in my opinion. He's just playing cricket. I mean he's just standing there and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I'd apologised and accepted it and I came back and still I get booed, I wouldn't like it either,” said Virat Kohli during the post-match press conference.
“So I just felt for him and told him 'sorry for... on behalf of the crowd'. We've seen that happen in a few earlier games as well. In my opinion that's not acceptable," he added.
Smith, who served out his ban for his role in the sandpaper-gate scandal, has made a return to the Australian team and was subjected to similar treatment from the opposition fans during Australia's game against Afghanistan. Warner, who was also banned alongside Cameron Bancroft, was also booed in Bristol.
"Look, what's happened has happened like long back. The guy's back and he's trying to play well for his side. Even in the IPL I saw him, it's not good to see someone down like that to be honest. We've had issues in the past, we've had a few arguments on the field, but you don't want to see a guy feeling that heat every time he's going out to play. What's happened has happened and everyone knows that. He's back, he's worked hard and he's playing well for his side," Kohli concluded.