India's Mohammad Shami (left) celebrates with Virat Kohli
India's Mohammad Shami (left) with captain Virat Kohli. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: India captain Virat Kohli has come out in support of Mohammad Shami, who was trolled on social media for his performance in the ICC World Cup opener last Sunday.

During a media interaction ahead of the crucial clash against New Zealand, Kohli said: “Making fun of people on social media has become a social entertainment in today’s world, which so unfortunate and so sad.”

Shami was subjected to online trolls after the pacer returned figures of 0/43 in 3.5 overs in the opener. But many former Indian cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh showed total support to Shami, with legend Tendulkar saying the “fast bowler had an off day like any other sportsman.”

Mental toughness

Kohli said as the those who are attacking Shami don’t understand the strength of character the team is showing on the field and the mental toughness that it takes at the international level, adding that win and loss are part and parcel of sport.

“They don’t have the courage or spine. That’s how I see it in all this. All this drama created on the outside is purely based on people’s frustrations, their lack of self-confidence, their lack of compassion, and hence they find it amusing to go after people,” Kohli said while adding that Shami has been one of the primary bowlers of the Indian team along with Jasprit Bumrah. “They have no understanding of the number of matches Shami has won for India in the last three year.

“Attacking someone over the religion is the most pathetic thing a human being can do. That’s very sacred and personal thing to any individual. We stand fully behind Shami and support him 200 per cent.”