Team India may have failed to defend its Champions Trophy title against arch-rival Pakistan on Sunday, but captain Virat Kohli has certainly won many hearts across the border with his post-match presentation address.
The 28-year-old's remarks after his side's 180-run loss was even praised by the cricketing community. Many netizens described him as a gentleman.
While Fakhar Zaman starred with the bat scoring blistering 114 runs, Mohammad Amir took the first three Indian wickets, including Kohli's.
Despite being disappointed, Kohli, at the post-match presentation ceremony, said: "I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an amazing tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have.”
He added: "They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final."
Kohli was lauded by many cricket fans from Pakistan, including politicians for his “sportsmanship” and for showing grace even after a defeat
Thank you @imVkohli with your post match statement you won many hearts. You are a great player and a gentleman too— Mubasher Lucman (@mubasherlucman) June 18, 2017
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 18, 2017
Virat Kohli is truly a credit to his team and nation, a generous and honest sporting spirit with oodles of talent— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) June 18, 2017
Thank you @imVkohli for very kind words for us. And Team India, you're a really good team. It is an honour to have won from World Champions.— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) June 18, 2017
Credit too to @imVkohli for being gracious to PK and their fans - no greater team to play against— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) June 18, 2017
Virat Kohli, full of respect towards arch rivals and victorious opponents today, is such a remarkable ambassador for the game.— Mirza Waheed (@MirzaWaheed) June 18, 2017
Former cricketers Brendon McCullum and Shane Warne too took to Twitter to laud the Indian skipper.
India excellent throughout tournament except today. Impressed how well @imVkohli spoke post match. Gracious in defeat.— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) June 18, 2017
“We haven't won the final, have lost a game of cricket, and that's all. We need to move on and learn from our mistakes.We just weren't good enough on the day. We will take that on the chin and move on," he added.
Praising Zaman, he said: "When players (Fakhar Zaman) like that get going on their day, it becomes really difficult to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk -- and they were all coming off," said Kohli.
Chasing such the target of 339, that too in the finals was never going to be easy and India had pinned all its hopes on Kohli, one of the best chasers in the world as he had done so many times for the Men in Blue in the past.
But Kohli (5), the big match player did not get going, along with Rohit Sharma (0) and Shikhar Dhawan (21), and the defending never came back into the game after that.