Virat Kohli-led India beat West Indies by 237 runs in the third Test © AFP
Virat Kohli-led India beat West Indies by 237 runs in the third Test © AFP

India’s Test captain, Virat Kohli on Saturday came out in support of the Indian athletes who are participating in the Rio Olympics. Kohli said, “Hats off to Indian athletes who are in Rio. Must give credit to them. There is a disparity in facilities but they are still competing”. The Kohli-led Indian team sealed the four-match Test series against West Indies in the third Test. They bowled out the hosts for 108 runs in the second innings, winning by a margin of 237 runs. A combined effort from the Indian bowlers was enough to assert the visitors’ dominance in the series as they now have an unassailable 2-0 lead going into the final Test. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs West Indies, 3rd Test match



Speaking to the media after the 237-run win over West Indies in the third Test here, Kohli lauded the contingent and said the athletes should not be judged harshly. “In an event like Olympics, firstly we need to look at how these athletes prepare. They give their heart and soul. And for some people to just ignore what they do, I think it is very hurtful. Even in cricket, you can’t perform every game and you don’t win every series,” Kohli said. “These guys go and give 100 per cent effort in what they do. Some people don’t even have 10 per cent of the facilities that sportsmen from other countries have. And then they sit and compare in our country,” he added. ALSO READ: Bhuvneshwar: IND can get WI out again

Kohli said the Indian athletes work as hard as anyone in the world and they should be supported in their quest to be at the top. “They’re giving their 120 per cent effort, and at the end of the day, that is what matters. Once someone wins a medal, that’s a big deal because we understand that we don’t have those kinds of facilities, but still these guys work as hard as anyone else in the world. They try and go and win a medal for us,” he said. Full cricket updates: India vs West Indies, 3rd Test, Day 5

“I think we just need to stay positive with all the events that are left. We must give credit to the guys who have gone on and competed. Hats off to the guys who go there and compete and are there in the mix because it’s so hard with no preparation and facility, it’s so hard to be at that level.

But still they go out there and give their heart and soul for the country and we should appreciate that,” he added.

Writer Shobha De had triggered a social media storm by ridiculing the contingent, drawing angry reactions from sportspersons across the board including India’s only individual Olympic gold-medallist, ace rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra.