Virat Kohli has lashed out at people for targeting Anushka Sharma while he has called the trolling of Ravi Shastri as agenda driven. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Virat Kohli has blasted critics who dragged his wife Anushka Sharma into a 'selection' mess recently and has also lashed out at trolls over their constant criticism of heaad coach Ravi Shastri. In a chat with India Today, Kohli finally broke his silence on a couple of issues that had plagued him and he did not hold back. He first cleared the air on the controversy which was started by Farokh Engineer, the former India keeper, who ridiculed the credentials of the five-member selection panel, led by MSK Prasad and comprising Sarandeep Singh, Jatin Paranjpe, Gagan Khoda and Devang Gandhi, claiming that he saw one of them serve tea to Sharma during the World Cup in England. Kohli said dragging her name was not right at all.
"She came for one World Cup game against Sri Lanka and the family box and the selector box was different, and there was no selector in that box. She came with two friends. As I said, she is known, she's been successful at a very high level so when people take her name, it gets noticed. You want to mention something about the selectors do that, but why join her name with it. When the lies are spoken so much all around, they start becoming truths. So you need to speak up at some stage and that's exactly what happened recently," Kohli said.
Kohli also termed the relentless trolling of Ravi Shastri as "agenda driven", saying the India coach is least affected by perception that he is the captain's yes man. Starting out as a slow left-arm spinner, Shastri went on to open the innings for India and also won the famous 'Champion of the Champions' Award in the 1985 World Series Cricket, and Kohli touched upon all that while offering his unequivocal support to the head coach. The Indian skipper had a strongly worded message for the trolls.
"(Promoted from) number 10 to opener and got an average of 41 as an opener, he is not going to be bothered about someone sitting at home and trolling him, because if you want to troll a guy who has done that, then get up, face those bowlers, do what he has done, have the clarity to do it, have the courage to do it, then have a debate with that guy. I think most of these things are agenda driven and I don't know whose, why, what for, but to accept lies in that manner, it couldn't be anything but agenda driven. In Ravi bhai's case, luckily, he is a person that doesn't care at all. He says our only focus is how we can be the best team of all time. I think these petty things on the outside, they don't matter at all to him," Kohli said.
Kohli has had a dream run as skipper in the last couple of years. Under his tenure, India finally won a series in Australia while in the ongoing ICC World Test Championships, he has routed West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh as he became India's most successful skipper in Tests going past MS Dhoni. India have now won 13 consecutive Test series at home since their last loss in 2012 to England while their last four Test matches have been wins by over an innings.