India’s Rohit Sharma slaps Muslim bowler Siraj during first T20 against New Zealand

By: News Desk      Published: 09:48 AM, 19 Nov, 2021
India’s Rohit Sharma slaps Muslim bowler Siraj during first T20 against New Zealand
File photo.

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Newly-appointed Indian T20 captain Rohit Sharma slapped Muslim member of the national team during the first T20 International against New Zealand.

Suryakumar Yadav struck a blistering half-century as India beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first of three T20s in Jaipur on Wednesday and get Rahul Dravid's reign as head coach off to a winning start. Team India pacer Mohammed Siraj had an odd day on the field as he gave away 39 runs in his four overs and sent Rachin Ravindra back after taking his wicket. 

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Chasing 165, India clinched victory with two balls to spare, however, what caught netizens' attention was a viral video on Twitter that showed captain Rohit Sharma 'slapping' Siraj during India's chase in the dugout. 

The video showed Rohit sitting in the dugout behind Siraj when he playfully slaps him after which Siraj starts laughing. 

Many users on social media compared this incident to the infamous one where Harbhajan Singh had slapped S Sreesanth in the first edition of the IPL in 2008. That incident, however, was much more serious and had led to Harbhajan paying a fine and facing suspension. 

As for the match, New Zealand, beaten by Australia in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday, fought back with three quick wickets but Rishabh Pant (17 not out) held his nerve to guide India home.

"It didn't come as easy... so great learning for the guys, to understand what needs to be done, not about power-hitting all the time. A good game for us, missing a few players, an opportunity to other guys to show their ability," Rohit said after India's first game since their unexpected failure to reach the T20 World Cup semi-finals.