Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh haven’t taken Aussie journalist Dennis Freedman’s “sweeper” comment lightly. However, both the former Indian cricketers have urged the Indian skipper not to respond to the jibe nor let this impact him in any manner.
Virat Kohli and the Australian media have been sharing a fractious relationship – something that started during India’s 2014 tour Down Under where Virat Kohli scored bucketful of runs against Aussie to frustrate them. In their return tour earlier this year, Australian media continued to heavily criticize Kohli and even went on to label him as an ‘egomaniac’. A lot of criticism was also in store for the Indian skipper for saying he no longer counted the Australian players as friends.
Most recently, an Australian journalist posted a year-old photo of the Indian skipper sweeping the Eden Garden stadium for a Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan event, with a rather objectionable caption, which read, “Sweepers clean the stadium in readiness for the World XI match.”
The comment did not go down well with Kohli fans on social media, and users from both India and Pakistan got together to slam the journalist for his inappropriate comment. After former Aussie skipper came down to slam his compatriots, Harbhajan and Ganguly also rubbished them for their lack of sensitivity.
"Shame on this guy to actually put such a comment. It is very stupid of this guy to write something on Virat Kohli or for that matter anyone. You have got to maintain the dignity and understand who we are talking about and you do not need to show anyone down. At the end of the day, we are all human beings whether we are Australians, Indians or Pakistanis. Let us just respect the fact that we are human beings without putting anyone down," Harbhajan told India Today.
"I do not think that Virat needs to respond to everyone because when an elephant walks on the street then there are a lot of dogs that bark. Virat Kohli is an elephant and he does not need to give answers to all these guys who are commenting on him or saying things about him because they can never be someone like Virat Kohli, it is as simple as that," added Harbhajan who has been part of some epic encounters with the Australians.
Ganguly, who, like Kohli, is known for his in-your-face attitude, slammed the Aussie journos and urged Kohli not to pay any heed to them.
“It is in very bad taste because Virat Kohli is a popular face everywhere. But that's what has happened with Australia over the years. I think Virat Kohli should not bother he should just keep hitting those deliveries which come up because he's a remarkable player in one-day cricket," Ganguly told India Today.
"Anybody who beats them is a spoilt brat. I was one when I played against them, obviously, it was a no-nonsense situation. You did not suck up to all the nonsense which happened with the Australian journalists and even on the field. I don't think Virat should worry about it, he should just move on and win the series," Ganguly added.
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