T20 World Cup 2021: Inzamam-ul-Haq defends Virat Kohli, says “nobody should cross the line while criticizing”

Virat Kohli | GETTY

Indian cricket team’s disappointing outing in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 hasn’t gone done well with the fans. While some made fair criticism, there were a lot of netizens who were harsh on the cricketers.

Former Pakistan cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq slammed all those who were attacking and threatening India captain Virat Kohli and his family. Team India were defeated by New Zealand on October 31, and they are yet to win a match in the tournament.

“I heard that threats are being given to Virat Kohli’s daughter. People need to understand it’s just a sport, we might be playing for different countries but we are a part of the same community. You have every right to criticize Kohli’s batting or his captaincy but nobody has the right to target a cricketer’s family. 

“Few days back, something similar happened with Mohammed Shami. Victory and loss is a part of the game. I was deeply hurt to see people attacking Kohli’s family,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel.

Inzamam further spoke on India’s failure with the bat against New Zealand as they could only score 110/7 in 20 overs. He was surprised to see India struggling under pressure and even Kohli couldn’t keep the momentum of the innings.

“It was a crucial match in the tournament, possibly the most important match after the India-Pakistan contest. I was surprised to see the way India played, they were totally demoralized. I could not understand how a team of India’s stature could take so much pressure upon themselves.

“I have not seen Team India play like that. The two New Zealand spinners, they are both good spinners, but none of them is a world-class spinner. But the Indian batsmen were struggling to take singles against them. Even Virat Kohli was struggling to rotate the strike with singles,” he said.

After India’s low total, New Zealand only took 14.3 overs to chase down the target with Daryl Mitchell scoring 49 runs in 35 balls to lead the run-chase. India’s net run rate has also been affected after the one-sided defeats in both matches.

The 51-year-old urged fans to accept win and loss both, as they are part of the game. “Criticise Team India’s selection, performance but nobody should cross the line while criticizing. I understand that the fans would be disappointed as India’s chances of reaching the semi-final is very less. 

“But there are 8-10 teams in the competition out of which only four will reach semis. The biggest example of sportsmanship is to be gracious even in defeat. Like the way we celebrate every win, we should know how to digest team’s loss as well,” he concluded.