Virat Kohli said that he has learnt “his lesson” on how social media crowd can misinterpret tweets and spark rumours, after his tweet about how Mahendra Singh Dhoni made the India captain run like in a fitness test in 2016 World T20 match against Australia.
On Thursday, Kohli had tweeted a picture of him sitting on his hunches after beating Australia in a virtual quarter-final match of the 2016 World T20 in Mohali. He had scored 82 not out on that night to guide India into the semi-final of the competition, and his running between the wickets with Dhoni, 18 not out, was the highlight of the run chase.
With the squad announcement for the home series against South Africa looming, that tweet led to a frenzy on social media, where twitteratis correlated Kohli’s tweet with paying a tribute to Dhoni’s awaited retirement from international cricket. The rumour mills were shut down after chairman of selectors MSK Prasad termed it as “false news”.
On Saturday, when Kohli was asked what was on his mind when he had tweeted, the smiling skipper replied: “Mere zehen mein kuch naahi thaa yaar (I had nothing in my mind). I was sitting at home and I normally put out a photograph and it became a news item.”
Social media can be a different beast for celebrities and Kohli once again got a bitter taste of it.
“I think it was a lesson for me, that the way I think, the whole world does not think that way. There was nothing in farthest stretch of my imagination (that it could be taken as retirement tribute) while putting that picture out on social media,” the skipper said.
For him, the T20 International against Australia was one match he has not really talked about much in last three years unlike his other knocks.
“Like what did I write. I remember that game even now, every now and then. I never spoke about that game and so I thought I put up a post. Now people interpreted it in a different manner in which there was not even an iota of truth,” said the disappointed skipper.
DHONI ON SAME PAGE WITH US
Talking about whether Dhoni is in the scheme of things for next year’s World T20 in Australia, Kohli said that there exists an alignment between the former captain and the team.
“One great thing about him (Dhoni) is that, he thinks for Indian cricket. And whatever we (team management) think, he is on the same page. The alignment is there. The kind of mindset he has had about grooming youngsters and giving them opportunities, and he is still the same person,” Kohli replied.
Dhoni has taken a two-month sabbatical from cricket and is not a part of the T20 International series against South Africa starting on Sunday.
While Kohli reminded the scribes about Dhoni’s ability to prove his detractors wrong, his answer on his impending international future was a bit open-ended.
“Look, experience is always going to matter whether you like it or not. I mean there are a numerous number of times people have given up on sportsmen and they have proved people wrong and he (Dhoni) has done that many times in his career as well. As long as he is available and continues to play, he is going to be very valuable,” Kohli said.
“When you decide to stop playing is an absolutely individual thing, and no one else should have an opinion on it, that’s what I think,” he added.