Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha has reacted to fans trolling Virat Kohli and his family over India’s dismal show in the Adelaide Test against Australia, saying the behaviour from the fans is completely uncalled for. India were bowled out for their lowest Test total of 36 as Australia comfortably won the match by eight wickets to take an early 1-0 series lead.
However, shortly after, users on social media targeted Kohli over his decision to return to India. The trolls even targeted Kohli’s wife, actor Anushka Sharma, who is due to give birth to the couple’s first child. Reacting on the same, Ojha called the whole turn of events unfortunate and believes no one has the right to target a cricketer or his family on personal front.
“We have to respect somebody’s personal life. Whenever someone takes a decision, it is their call. He (Virat Kohli) was very clear that he wants to be there (for the birth of his child). His wife needs his support. And the message was sent to the BCCI before the tour started,” Ojha said on Sports Today.
“After losing the match, suddenly talking ill about the captain or anybody, and dragging their families in, is something very concerning. How can you drag anybody’s family into all this? Don’t drag their personal life into their professional one. These two things should be separated.”
It’s not the first time that Kohli and Anushka have been blamed for the cricketers’ or India’s performance in the field. It all started in the semifinal of the 2015 World Cup in Australia where India had lost the game and Kohli had scored 1 with then partner Anushka in attendance. Ever since, Anushka has needlessly been eyed for the poor performance of the Indian team.
Earlier this year, England captain Joe Root missed a Test match for England due to the birth of his child. As did New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who missed the second Test against West Indies because of the same reason. Kohli’s reason is nothing new and just because India have lost the match is not a good reason for people to target the India captain, Ojha adds.
“It is not like he wants to come back in the middle of the series, he had taken a call earlier. And the BCCI has rightfully given him that space. So, now why (the questioning)? Just because we lost the game. Yes, we are all in pain, we are all upset that we lost the Test match. But that doesn’t give us a right or anybody who is trolling, to do what they are doing,” Ojha said.