Virender Sehwag has condemned India fans who abused Mohammed Shami after the T20 World Cup defeat to Pakistan.
Shami took 0-43 from 3.5 overs as India suffered their very first defeat to Pakistan in a World Cup match in Dubai on Sunday.
Following India’s emphatic loss, Shami was abused on social media and cricket legend Sehwag has described the ‘attack’ from the ‘online mob’ as ‘shocking’.
‘The online attack on Mohammad Shami is shocking and we stand by him,’ the former India opener posted on Twitter.
‘He is a champion and anyone who wears the India cap has India in their hearts far more than any online mob. With you Shami.’
Ex-India captain Gautam Gambhir added: ‘Those bursting crackers on Pakistan winning can’t be Indian. We stand by our boys!’
India went into the T20 World Cup as one of the favourites to win the tournament but were humbled in their opening fixture.
Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi took two wickets in his first two overs as India slipped to 6-2 but Virat Kohli fought back with an assured half-century.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant also scored 39 from 30 balls but Pakistan chased India’s 151-7 without losing a wicket, with Mohammad Rizwan making 79 and Babar Azam finishing on 68.
Pakistan skipper Babar said: ‘I credit those early wickets from our bowlers, Shaheen’s wickets gave us confidence and then the spinners bowled with confidence we were happy with our death bowling as well.
‘We will play it one match at a time, this will give us confidence, there is a long way to go in this tournament.’
India’s Kohli, meanwhile, said: ‘We did not execute the things we wanted to but credit where it is due. Pakistan certainly outplayed us today.
‘We knew we needed a total that was competitive but even with that they didn’t give us any chances and were very professional.
‘We are not a team that presses the panic button. It is the start of the tournament, not the end, so it is important to stay composed.’
India and Pakistan both face New Zealand next, with Babar’s side facing the Black Caps on Tuesday and Kohli’s side returning to action on Sunday.
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