Former Australian skipper Steve Smith and former vice-captain David Warner have been facing the brunt of the fans ever-since they returned to field for the national side after serving their one-year suspensions for their involvement in the massive ball-tampering scandal that took place in South Africa last year.
The situation was no different when India took on the defending champions Australia in one of the biggest matches of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) at The Oval in London on Sunday.
After India won the toss and opted to bat first, Smith was sent by skipper Aaron Finch to field at the deep near the boundary line. Immediately, the Indian contingent present in the stands started booing at the former Australian skipper.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli took notice of the same and came to Smith's rescue by asking the Indian fans to stop booing at the Australian batsman. He then asked the section of the crowd to clap for Smith, thus winning the hearts of the fans.
Soon after Kohli showed the heart-winning gesture, cricket journalist Sam Landsberger took to his official Twitter handle and applauded the Indian skipper for his move.
"Wow. How good is this from Virat Kohli? Steve Smith is sent to field on the boundary, and immediately cops the most hideous boos from the Indian fans. So Kohli turns to that stand and gestures for them to clap Smith. #CWC19," he wrote.
Wow. How good is this from Virat Kohli? Steve Smith is sent to field on the boundary, and immediately cops the most hideous boos from the Indian fans. So Kohli turns to that stand and gestures for them to clap Smith. #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/GBTPaolOXh
— Sam Landsberger (@SamLandsberger) June 9, 2019
Notably, Smith also faced the backlash from the cricket fans when he scored a hundred during a warm-up match in England ahead of the commencement of the ICC World Cup. The Australian batsman was also boeed during Australia's clash against West Indies when he raised his bat after scoring a half-century.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan (117), Rohit Sharma (57), skipper Virat Kohli (82) and Hardik Pandya (48) all shone with the bat as the Men in Blue posted a huge score of 352 for five in their stipulated 50 overs after opting to bat first against Australia.