Virat Kohli ‘lost control’ of himself while making the ‘leave India’ comment, feels legendary five-time former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand.
“I think he lost control. He got a bit emotional and he just said the first thing that came to his mind,” Anand told IANS on the sidelines of Tata Steel Chess India 2018 meet held at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, here on Monday.
Sounding not too pleased at the manner in which Kohli replied to a fan’s question in the video and drew immediate condemnation, Anand said the 30-year old batsman would be the first to acknowledge that he also has fans abroad and they don’t have to leave their countries.
“He must be the first to appreciate that he probably has foreign fans, and none of them have to leave their country and come to India (laughs),” Anand said on the sidelines of Tata Steel Chess India 2018 meet held at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations here.
Kohli had asked a fan to leave the country if he did not like to watch Indian cricketers in action. Kohli, who launched the ‘Virat Kohli Official App’ on his 30th birthday last week, faced the backlash after his reaction to a fan, who confessed his preference for English and Australian cricketers over Kohli’s blue brigade.
“I think he was caught at a weak moment. That is the impression I get. He was feeling a bit sensitive and was not in the best mood maybe, and then this question came up. Then he lost control of it.
“The question was posed to him when he was not fully in control and he got a bit annoyed. It came across like that to me,” Anand, 48, added.
Kohli took to Twitter later to clarify his point and explained why he had made the “leave India” comment.
“I guess trolling isn’t for me guys, I’ll stick to getting trolled! I spoke about how “these Indians” was mentioned in the comment and that’s all. I’m all for freedom of choice. Keep it light guys and enjoy the festive season. Love and peace to all,” Kohli had tweeted.
Asked if he stood by Kohli at a time the BCCI is reportedly also not happy with the statement but are undecided whether to haul up the icon, Anand said: “People are emotional and they lose control once in a while.”
“It has happened to me even if I was more successful in not showing it. But there are moments when your emotions take over.
“What he said, he got criticised that’s it. It’s over. Those who did not like it, already criticised him, so no need to keep piling on it.”
Anand, ever soft-spoken, was quizzed if he cringed at times seeing Kohli’s aggressive demeanour on and off the field. “In the end you should be comfortable in your own skin,” Anand signed off.