Shami defends Kohli amid controversies, says ‘there is no reason to complain!’

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Virat Kohli reached his 64th half-century in the ODI format on Sunday, which was followed by an adorable cradle gesture for daughter Vamika. Unscathed by a nought in the second game, Kohli took 63 deliveries to reach the fifty-run mark at Newlands, Cape Town.

He had last brought an ODI century in West Indies on August 14, 2019, and he looked set to end the long-awaited century drought before he fell prey to a quick delivery from Keshav Maharaj. In an attempt to work it into the on-side off the back foot, the 33-year-old Indian popped it in the air to Temba Bavuma for an easy catch.

“So what, if he (Kohli) has not scored a century. A century doesn’t define how big a player he is. It is not that he has not scored runs. He has scored fifties consistently in the recent past and there is no reason why we should even think like that. A fifty or a sixty is also a score and as long as it is helping the team, there is no reason to complain,” Shami told India.com.

The 31-year-old Shami, who picked up 14 wickets in the recent Test series against South Africa, also spoke highly of Kohli’s leadership and his unparalleled energy. The most successful Indian skipper with 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 Tests, Kohli is credited for the meteoric rise of Indian pacers and inculcating a fitness culture in the team.

“Kohli’s energy is the best thing and that rubs on to the rest of the team. He is a bowler’s captain and always gave us the freedom to express ourselves. He would always take our opinion and ask for options,” Shami further said. “We have spent so much time together and there are so many memorable moments. It will always remain with me and it is difficult to pick or choose any one such moment,” he further said.

Shami did not play the white ball series against South Africa in which India were blanked 0-3 by a relatively inexperienced opposition. The Bengal cricketer is not a part of the upcoming home series against West Indies as the team management has “rested” the pace duo of Shami & Jasprit Bumrah.

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