Amazing Sportsmanship, As Virat Kohli Silences Crowd Booing Steve Smith
India won two big things overnight. Firstly, they won their Cricket World Cup match against the Aussies.
But the big story of the night at The Oval in London was not the match result. It was the moment Indian captain Virat Kohli silenced the pro-India crowd who were booing Aussie batsman Steve Smith and chanting "cheat, cheat, cheat".
The booing has been going on all summer in England -- and the joke is wearing thin. Kohli knows it. And while he is a highly combative cricketer who loves nothing better than beating Australia, he also has respect for Smith.
So in the middle of an innings in which he struck a sweet 82 off 77 balls, Kohli shut the crowd up, and all power to him.
You can watch the moment unfold in the video at the top of the story, First, he walked over with open palms as if to say "what the heck, guys?".
He then suggested they should actually be applauding Smith, not booing him.
Then he went over and shook hands with Smith, who clearly appreciated the gesture.
As did the cricket world. Cricket's governing body, the ICC, called it "absolute class".
Too many players to mention have been caught ball-tampering in cricket over the years. Of them, only Smith and Warner served a 12-month ban -- a ban which was imposed not by the ICC, but by Cricket Australia.
In other words, they did the crime, and they've done more than the usual time. Remember also that Smith himself was not the instigator. His chief "crime" was not stopping the sandpaper scheme.
Anyway long story short, booing him was never that clever, and has worn off. Virat Kohli recognised that overnight. It was a win for India and a win for sportsmanship.
"What's happened has happened. I didn't want Indian fans to set a bad example," Kohli explained after his match.
"He [Smith] didn't do anything to be booed in my opinion. If I was in a position where something had happened with me, and I’d apologised and accepted it, and came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it either."
Meanwhile in the actual cricket, Australia's bowlers had an off night, as India racked up 5/352.
In reply we weren't terrible. Dave Warner, Steve Smith and Alex Carey made half centuries. But too many wickets fell and the Aussie were bowled out for 315, which means we've now won two, and lost one, at CWC 2019.
Our next match is against Pakistan on Wednesday evening, Australian time.