Fan calls him ‘overrated’, Virat Kohli says ‘don’t think you should live in India’

It’s one thing reacting on field, in the heat of the moment, but to react in a petty fashion in the cold comfort of the living room when shooting a video is something else. No wonder, many fans are showing their displeasure.

Virat Kohli lashed out at a fan while promoting his newly-launched app. (Twitter/Screengrab)

For some inexplicable reason, Virat Kohli thought it would be funny if he were to tell an Indian fan to leave the country if he wants to support cricketers hailing from other countries. But his response on Twitter to an unflattering comment by a fan is now being seen as another instance of Kohli not responding well to personal criticism.

This is what happened. In a video that went viral, Kohli is seemingly responding to a fan’s observation. He first reads out the fan’s post about his batting: “Overrated batsman. I have seen nothing special in his batting. I enjoy watching English and Australian batsmen more than this Indian.”

Though there is a hint of smile on his visage as he responds, its contents aren’t exactly humorous as Kohli perhaps intended.

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“Okay. I don’t think that you should live in India then. You should go live somewhere else, then. 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 liking other things. Get your priorities right,” Kohli says with a half-smile.

There have many criticisms of Kohli’s response that ranges from political affiliations to current climate in the country but one twitter user perhaps got the perfect twitter touche.

“@Kohli go to South Africa @imvkohli :-)” tweeted @navendusingh_ . . Why did the Indian fan tell Kohli to go live in South Africa? The video that he attached to his tweet explains it best.

It’s from the U-19 World Cup that Kohli captained so memorably, the tournament that launched him in public imagination in India. It’s a video for the broadcaster where the player tells his name, his batting or bowling style and mentions his favourite player.

In his clip, Kohli was seen saying, “My favourite batsman is Herschelle Gibbs.” Gibbs was the attacking opening batsman of South Africa then, and the fan’s implication was clear. Going by Kohli’s own logic, he should be living in South Africa.

It’s not the first time Kohli has shown unpleasant reactions to personal criticism. In 2013, there was a controversial run out appeal from Kohli during the IPL. Kohli had run out Ambati Rayudu (Rayudu had seemingly who had grounded the bat before he collided with the bowler and his bat lifted in the air when Kohli’s throw found the stumps. The Wankhede crowd in Mumbai showed their displeasure by booing Kohli.

Stung by the crowd’s reaction, Kohli, 24 years then spoke about his hurt. “I don’t know why they get so worked up during IPL” was his comment and he suggested that the Mumbai fans needed to see the India blue inside him.

In the past he has also had run-ins with the likes of Gautam Gambhir on field and arguments with the umpires. In 2013, his then IPL coach, Ray Jennings had spoken about his temperament.

“I think Virat understands that he does have a hot head and I think he also understands that he needs to look at that. He is young enough to accept those issues and I think we have got to give him time to rectify that …. Virat’s not a stupid cricketer, he is a smart guy and he has a vision to captain India. And if he knows people at home are not accepting certain things that he does consistently and he makes the same mistake consistently, he will find out that the system is not going to buy into his behaviour or character. You can go back and have a look at captains in Australia, even in India, that if the behaviour is not acceptable to the market, you are not going to have the full Indian public support that type of character. And if Virat wants the job, he has got to accept that and he has got to learn to change and maybe go through certain programmes.”

In 2012 in Australia, he had given the Australian crowd a middle finger, an act that didn’t go well with Virender Sehwag then who thought it wasn’t worth the risk of being suspended and that Kohli should have shown more responsibility. In an interview recently, Kohli spoke about that incident and talked how he was wrong in reacting thus and how the first thing he said to match referee was, ‘please don’t ban me’.

It’s one thing reacting on field, in the heat of the moment, but to react in a petty fashion in the cold comfort of the living room when shooting a video is something else. No wonder, many fans are showing their displeasure.

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