Indian batter Virat Kohli found himself on the receiving end of the trolls yet again. This time for chewing gum during the National Anthem. The said incident happened during the third ODI on Sunday against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town.
Right before the beginning of the 3rd and final ODI, both teams were out for their respective National Anthem. Kohli courted controversy and faced a backlash when he was caught on camera while chewing gum when the Indian National Anthem was playing.
This act of the former Indian skipper did not go well with the Indian fans who roasted him on social media for “disrespecting” the Indian National Anthem. The fans took to Twitter to share the video and slammed Kohli for his act.
“Virat Kohli busy chewing something while the National Anthem is playing. Ambassador of the nation. @BCCI,” wrote one fan on Twitter with a video.
The tweet garnered more than 2500 Retweets and had more than 6500 likes.
“What the hell is going on this player needs to be kicked out of the team for being such a brainless activity by not showing respect to national anthem”, another fan wrote.
Here are a few more tweets-
“Kohli chewing gum during the national anthem and not singing too is disrespectful, and sums up the casual and flat approach India, has had during this tour. Minus the first Test of course.”
“Virat kohli busy in chewing gum during national anthem…what he think himself dont know is he bigger than cricket or nation??”
“#bcci We have India’s National Anthem playing at the Newlands, Capetown, venue of 3rd ODI between Ind & SA and we have Mr Kohli soberly chewing gum.We have hordes of people who keep saying he led by example. And these are the kind of people the marketers are going after .SIC.”
While Kohli was criticized for his act, his fans were quick to jump in to support the Indian batter.
One fan asked, “And what about you?you were recording when the anthem was being played”.
“He has done more for his country than all the people criticizing him for this”, another tweet read.
Kohli’s timeline of trolls since last year
Kohli is going through a rough patch in his career at the moment. Ever since India lost to Pakistan in the Men’s T20 World Cup, Kohli was under the scanner. India was knocked out of the World Cup when made Kohli to step down from the T20I captaincy and was subsequently removed from the ODI captaincy.
Kohli then went on to address the media right before his tour to South Africa where he revealed a few contradicting statements that didn’t go well with the BCCI.
India’s Test series against South Africa didn’t end well as the visitors went down 2-1. Right after the series, Kohli shocked everyone by relinquishing the Test captaincy.
While all these made news, Kohli received flank for getting out for a duck in the second One-day against South Africa. Notably, it was the first time Kohli perished to a spinner without troubling the scoreboard.
Earlier incident of chewing gum
Apparently, this is not the first time Virat Kohli was caught chewing gum during the national anthem. In 2019, a similar incident broke social media.
Kohli was seen chewing gum during the first Test of Sri Lanka tour of India at Eden Gardens at Kolkata.
In 2017, Kashmir cricketer Parvez Rasool drew ire for chewing gum during the National Anthem. The issue was all over the internet with many calling him names. As the video went viral on social media, Rasool father was interviewed and he apologized for his son’s act.
Rasool, who became the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play in the Indian Premier League, made his international debut in 2014. He played one ODI for the country. He was then called back to the international team in 2017 where he played a T20I.
In the IPL, Rasool was with Pune Warriors India in the 2013 edition. He then went to Sunrisers Hyderabad for a couple of seasons before getting into the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in the 2017 edition. Rasool didn’t play in the IPL after going unsold in the 2018 auction.