India's Virat Kohli praised for defending Steve Smith from crowds

10:24AM
Out come the sides

Big Indian presence in the stands. Not a lot of yellow  gold

A product of excellent captaincy, Virat Kohli's pitch reading skills got India to bat first at the Oval, owing to a very flat surface that was bound to have some hard-hitting around the ground.

Virat Kohli (10/10): The captain paced his innings brilliantly to score 82, batting nearly to the end of India's innings. "In my opinion I didn't think that was acceptable", he added. "But you don't want to see a guy feeling that heat every time he goes out to play", he said.

"You would hate to see something like that happen in a World Cup semi-final or final when you have done the hard work to set up the batsman".

India played a classical one-day innings in their match against Australia, with the top order laying the base, and the middle order building on it by blasting quick runs.

Steve Smith and David Warner, key protagonists in the Cape Town scandal, served one-year bans, only returning to global cricket at the World Cup.

Kohli is the first player to make such a statement to a crowd since Smith and David Warner's returns. "He was just standing there, I felt bad because if I was in a position where something has happened with me and I had apologized and accepted it, and I came back and I still would get booed, I would not like it either".

More news: Chandraayan 2, India’s second moon mission, will be launched on July 15

Now ranked second in ODI, India began their World Cup campaign after everyone else against a South African side playing their third match on Wednesday.

He made a dashing 82 to delight the partisan crowd though it was opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who hit 16 boundaries in his 109-ball 117, that shone brightest of all.

"They both have a big-match temperament and we are lucky to have two such solid openers in our team who when they play well provide a lot of confidence to the dressing room", the captain said.

However, Smith had, at that time, said it was a "brain fade" moment for him.

They ticked nearly every box in Sunday's mouth-watering clash at the Oval where Kohli and his top order colleagues fired in unison, their bowlers troubled Australian batsmen, and they looked pretty sharp on the field too.

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