Virat Kohli can’t catch a break. The former Indian skipper, who is gearing up to return to cricket after a brief hiatus from action, praised Pakistan captain Babar Azam ahead of the high-voltage clash between India vs Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday. “I saw a lot of regard and respect from him (Babar Azam) from day 1. And that hasn’t changed, regardless of the fact that he is probably the top batsman in the world right now across formats, performing so consistently. Rightly so, he has amazing talent. I have always enjoyed watching him play,” Kohli told Star Sports.
Kohli speaking highly of Azam shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has witnessed the Pakistani skipper dominate world cricket with his ruthless form with the bat. Despite all the recent positive exchanges the cricketers of rival nations have had showing good camaraderie between them off the field, Kohli seems to have touched a nerve by praising a cricketer who’s not from India.
Also Read: ‘You Need Players Like Babar Azam to Keep World Cricket Exciting’: Virat Kohli Hails Pakistan Captain
Lost? Here’s the context:
An old video of Kohli taking “bait” to a fan’s question has reemerged on Twitter. In the video, Kohli is seen responding to a fan who admitted that they preferred watching batters from Australia and England over those from India, before adding that they felt Kohli was overrated.
“Okay, I don’t think you should live in India then you should go and live somewhere else, no? Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don’t mind you not liking me but I don’t think you should live in our country and like other things. Get your priorities right.”
Strange day in cricket, Virat Kohli himself broke the rule made by him. pic.twitter.com/cEQj7VFc4p
— Amit Kumar (@AMIT_GUJJU) August 27, 2022
Kohli had, understandably, faced a lot of backlash for his uncharacteristic and churlish remark.
I guess trolling isn’t for me guys, I’ll stick to getting trolled!
I spoke about how “these Indians” was mentioned in the comment and that’s all. I’m all for freedom of choice. Keep it light guys and enjoy the festive season. Love and peace to all. ✌
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Kohli and Azam, the two greats of the game, met each other ahead of the much-anticipated Sunday clash between the two nations in Dubai as fans were over the moon to see their favourites in a single frame.
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