India captain Virat Kohli has provoked a social media storm after telling a critic to leave the country for criticising his batting.
Kohli told the Indian fan to “go and live somewhere else” in a video on his newly-launched personal app, in which he responded to comments from the public.
The fan had said Kohli was “overrated” and less enjoyable to watch than his English and Australian counterparts, prompting a frosty response:
“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.”
His outburst prompted a backlash on social media from cricket lovers across India:
Oh, btw @imVkohli Viral Kohli's favorite cricketer is a foreigner Herschelle Gibbs and not any Indian. 🙄
Ab Kohli desh chhod ke chala jayega 😭 pic.twitter.com/eGe3fGAz9r
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) November 7, 2018
Virat kohli is a great cricketer no doubt, he lacks basic leadership qualities.
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) November 8, 2018
“Virat Kohli’s statement is a reflection of the bubble that most famous people either slip into or are forced into,” wrote prominent cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle on Twitter.
“Kohli is highly arrogant and that is one trait which is his Achilles heel,” tweeted another user.
Despite the widespread backlash, Kohli had a light-hearted take on his comments being slammed by many supporters of the Indian cricket team.
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. ✌😊
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 8, 2018
The response prompted a flurry of support for the under fire cricket captain, who didn’t see an issue with him defending himself against an online troll:
What is wrong if Virat Kohli tells a questioner (who tells him that he enjoys watching foreign cricketers more that Indian cricketers) that he should migrate abroad? Both have freedom of speech. But media is slamming Virat Kohli only
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) November 8, 2018
I am with you virat…You are our Hero.
And I m very happy that you endorse all these western brands baaki jiski jalti hai usko jalne do..I am with you….You are one the best player I have ever seen in my life..Keep going..Keep rocking.🤘👍
— Mangal Dubey (@MangalDubey) November 8, 2018
Guy is winning matches for us. Leave him alone for god’s sake. Just introspect your slip of tongue when got trolled.🤷♂️
— Ranjith Pillai (@ranjisvoice) November 8, 2018