Kohli apologizes to Smith on behalf of Indian fans

Team India visited the Indian High Commissioner’s residence in London on Friday

M.S. Dhoni's gloves controversy will take centrestage even as India and Australia look to iron out the flaws and bring their best to the table when they lock horns in a marquee World Cup encounter at the Kennington Oval on Saturday.

"Very happy with the performance overall". However, it wasn't the only strong message that was sent across from the middle.

Virat Kohli won a match with the bat and hearts with his sportsmanship after silencing Indian fans who booed Australia's Steve Smith in yesterday's World Cup contest at the Oval. After the fall of Hardik Pandya's wicket, a section of Indian supporters tried to get under Smith's skin with "cheater, cheater" chants. Kohli was at the crease and realised that the crowd was not about to stop. Showing his classy side, the Indian captain turned towards the stand and gestured at the fans to cheer for Smith and not boo at him.

They initially kept wickets in hand but as the scale of the task became more improbable the issue had to be forced - and then there was only one result.

Speaking about it in the post-match press conference, Kohli expressed his sympathy for Smith and apologised on behalf of the Indian crowd.

"There's so many Indian fans here, I just didn't want them to set a bad example, because he didn't do anything to be booed in my opinion", added Kohli.

"He didn't do anything to be booed in my opinion", Kohli said. It was significant because, in the one year prior to that, Smith didn't play ODI cricket and had to be content with the limited T20 games around the world. What happens on the field ... all we want to do is play our cricket hard, and he does that.

After getting booed in nearly every match of the ICC World cup 2019, this is exactly what Smith and Warner needed, some support. The squad was accompanied by head coach and former cricketer Ravi Shastri as well as other team officials.

"Australia won't be too disappointed as they have time to dissect this loss, fine tune their process, tinker with batting orders and bowling options and manoeuvre things around before the semi-finals come around", Waugh said.