Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli on Saturday spoke about the torrent of social media abuse that Mohammad Shami faced after India’s loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in the T20 World Cup on October 24. The Indian captain said that the trolls were a “bunch of spineless people”.

The 31-year-old Shami became the main target after the bitter 10-wicket defeat in Dubai, even though Kohli acknowledged that his side had been “outplayed”.

“There is a good reason why we are playing on the field and not some bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person,” Kohli said during a press conference here.

“This is the lowest level of the human form, attacking someone over religion is the most pathetic thing a human being can do.

“Never thought of discriminating on basis of religion. That is a very sacred thing. Our brotherhood and friendship can’t be shaken… and these things can’t infiltrate. I give credit to people who understand us,” he added.

Shami’s social media account was flooded with comments like ‘traitor’ and some even said that he should be thrown out of the Indian team.

However, support poured in from his many fans and celebrities from all walks of life backed the bowler.

Shami even got support from Pakistan cricket team opener Mohammad Rizwan. He requested people to show respect to players, who are always under immense pressure to perform.

“The kind of pressure, struggles & sacrifices a player has to go through for his country & his people is immeasurable. @MdShami11 is a star & indeed one of the best bowlers in the world.

“Please respect your stars. This game should bring people together & not divide ’em #Shami #PAKvIND,” Rizwan wrote on Twitter.

One of India’s best fast bowlers in recent times, Shami was the team’s most expensive bowler on Sunday, giving away 43 runs in 3.5 overs.