Mohammed Shami is no stranger to social media trolls. The veteran India seamer was targetted after Pakistan beat India for the first time in a World Cup match during last year’s T20 World Cup in Dubai. His fault? Conceding 43 runs in his 3.5 overs in a chase in which Pakistan did not lose a wicket and cantered to a 10-wicket win courtesy of match-winning fifties from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Now, not a part of India’s Asia Cup squad (this requires a different debate altogether), Shami was one among the host of noted cricketers showing their support for young pacer Arshdeep Singh. What had happened to Shami about 10 months ago, happened to Arshdeep on Sunday after India lost to Pakistan in an Asia Cup Super 4 match in Dubai.
The left-arm pacer was trolled mercilessly for dropping Pakistan batter Asif Ali’s catch off leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi’s bowling in the 18th over of the match which turned out to be a crucial event as the right-hander hit two boundaries in the next over of Bhuvneshwar Kumar to all but seal victory for Pakistan.
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Shami put up an Instagram story in support of Arshdeep on Monday. “Don’t worry Arshdeep. We are with you. Focus on your upcoming game, don’t look and listen to them,” he wrote along with a photo of Arshdeep Singh.
Shami also slammed the trolls in an interview with Times Now. “They only live to troll us, have no other job. When we perform well they don’t say you took a good catch but will troll us?” said Shami. “Agar dam hai toh real accounts se aaye na, fake account se toh koi bhi msg kar sakta hai (If you have the audacity, then comes from real accounts; anyone can message from fake accounts,)” he said.
“I’ve faced this and it doesn’t affect me because my country stands up for me. I’ll only say to Arshdeep, don’t let this hamper you because your talent is immense,” he added.
In Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel’s absence, Arshdeep has been one of India’s main seamers in the ongoing Asia Cup along with the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar. With only to six to defend, the left-arm seamer bowled a brilliant last over in which he also picked up the wicket of Asif Ali but Pakistan managed to get the winning runs in the penultimate ball to win the match by five wickets.
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