There was a sea of blue at the Kennington Oval stadium during India vs Australia World Cup clash on Sunday. With a few Australian supporters in the crowd, cheer for India was expected to be huge. But when cheer for India turned into booing of Australian star Steve Smith who was fielding near the boundary line, Indian skipper Virat Kohli intervened. Showing true sportsman spirit, Kohli signaled the crowd to clap and cheer instead of booing Smith.
The act was appreciated by Smith who came up to him, shook his hand and patted him on the back for the selfless gesture during the drinks break.
The video and photos of Kohli urging the crowd have gone viral on the internet:
— Utkarsh Bhatla (@UtkarshBhatla) 9 June 2019
Kohli’s sportsmanship was applauded on Twitter:
Wonderful gesture by @imVkohli . Cricket is indeed a gentleman’s game.Asking the crowd to appreciate @stevesmith49 #CWC2019 #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/Y6JiQT5f7M
— Zenith (@Being_Afro) 9 June 2019
Wow. How good is this from Virat Kohli? Steve Smith is sent to field on the boundary, and immediately cops the most hideous boos from the Indian fans. So Kohli turns to that stand and gestures for them to clap Smith. #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/GBTPaolOXh
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) 9 June 2019
Great sportsmanship earlier by Virat Kohli which was appreciated by Steve Smith – telling the Indian fans to stop booing Smith when he was fielding on the boundary #INDvAUS #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/fehhWKD0fn
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) 9 June 2019
Kohli encouraging the Indian fans to clap Smith.His respect off the field in contrast with passion on the field is what makes him such a great player,on his way to cementing himself as one of the greatest to grace the field.And this is coming from a Pakistani fan.#INDvAUS #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/39C2ui8b7n
— Danny_P (@Daniyalp3) 9 June 2019
This is what Kohli was doing earlier. Encouraging claps not boos for Smith. https://t.co/LRxHkQEVfR
— Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy) 9 June 2019
Great gesture and sportsmanship from Kohli, asks Indian fans who were booing Steve Smith at the boundary to applaud and buck him up. Good lad. pic.twitter.com/OgPd1PnE4k #INDvAUS
— Kabir Taneja (@KabirTaneja) 9 June 2019
The Indian skipper scored 82 runs off 77 deliveries including four fours and two sixes before losing his wicket to Mitchell Starc in death overs. He shared crucial partnerships with opener Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya to get India to 352/5 against the Aaron Finch-led side.
Before the much-awaited clash, Finch said that Smith is the best batsman across formats instead of Kohli who is ruling the ICC ODI batsman rankings.