Although India won the Test by an impressive margin, regular skipper Virat Kohli received some massive hate online over his decision to return to India for the birth of his first child.
Speaking to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, Engineer agreed that trolling Virat Kohli was not right. He said:
“I disagree with that (trolling Virat Kohli). Why would you troll someone? He has made a personal decision to be with his wife to have the first child, which is not too unfair to ask for.”
Asked why people were after Virat Kohli at a time when India was celebrating one of its greatest Test wins, the 82-year-old put it down to the passion for cricket in the country. Drawing parallels with football, Engineer explained:
“(It’s) just like South America, they are very passionate about their football (so are we about cricket). If we lose abroad or anywhere, our house is on fire the next day. But, the very next day, as soon as you do well, you’ll be top of the tree. You’re God. This is how passionate we are. You can’t help it.
“It’s lovely to see that support. All the foreign players, whenever they come to India, the adulation and support that they receive… If you are a good player, you will be appreciated.”
"Don’t blame Virat Kohli"
Sharing his personal opinion on the paternity leave controversy, Engineer said that had be been in the situation, he would have stayed back in Australia. At the same time, he backed Virat Kohli for doing what he felt was right. Engineer further stated:
“I have got four children. I wasn’t there for any of their births. I was always playing international cricket for India. The Queen, in fact, gave me the message of my first child’s birth in the long room at Lord’s. So, in my time it didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t happen now.
“But personally, I would have rather played for India especially with India not having done so well in the first match. My thought would have been for my country. But, I don’t blame Virat Kohli for being with his family. This is the modern trend. I think it’s just an age difference.”
Engineer played 46 Tests and five ODIs for India from 1961 to 1975, and remains one of the most respected voices on the game.Published 01 Jan 2021, 10:52 IST