Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli sparks controversy. (PTI/File)
Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra said he was "surprised" by Virat Kohli's recent “leave India” remark which has sparked a controversy on social media. The Indian captain’s comment did not go down well with Twitterati, who trolled him for his unsavoury reaction.
"It does surprise me. What he has said is something, yes, disappointing, unacceptable but then freedom of expression allows us to say what we want and I also feel social media at times gets the worst out of us. He was trying to address a mean tweet perhaps he had gone through a multiple mean tweets before reacting or choosing to react to one...he could have done better. When he'll look back at it, I don't think he'll really be proud of what he said," Chopra told India Today.
Chopra, however, backed his former Delhi-mate, saying he didn’t think this was what Kohli “actually thinks”.
"I don't think this is what Virat Kohli is or this is what he actually thinks. In the last 18-24 months we have seen a lot of maturity with regard to how he speaks, what he actually portrays in the public domain...in all the post-match interviews he's someone who's is not happy to take credit himself. But he's happy to be very, very modest and humble,” Chopra said.
The controversy began on Wednesday when Kohli read out a cricket enthusiast's comment on his mobile app: "Over-rated batsman and personally I see nothing special in his batting. I enjoy watching English and Australian batsmen more than these Indians."
Kohli responded: "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."
Virat Kohli "I don't think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries" pic.twitter.com/YbPG97Auyn— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) November 6, 2018
Facing public criticism, Kohli on Thursday tweeted to clear the air.
"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," Kohli tweeted.