- Publish Date
- Monday, 21 December 2020, 8:57AM
As India sunk to a new low on the pitch, some of the team's disgruntled fans sunk to a new low on social media.
India has plenty of questions to answer heading into Boxing Day after being bowled out for its lowest ever Test total in Adelaide on Saturday, paving the way for Australia's incredible eight-wicket win.
The tourists were rolled for just 36 in their second innings on day three, no batsman making it into double figures. And they're going to have to rebound without captain Virat Kohli, who is heading home for the birth of his first child and will miss the remaining three Test matches of the tour.
Ajinkya Rahane will stand in as skipper but Kohli's loss further weakens a batting line-up that will be desperately short on confidence going to Melbourne.
Some fans, incredibly unfairly, took to social media to blame Kohli's wife Anushka Sharma for either distracting the Indian captain or putting pressure on him to return home.
This horribly misguided take saw Sharma trend on social media after the debacle.
However, there were also plenty of people willing to defend her and criticise anyone who put the blame on Sharma.
Former MasterChef star Adam Liaw received some negative backlash after making a joke on Twitter that not everyone saw the funny side of.
"The only explanation for this is that Anushka Sharma just went into labour and they're trying to get Kohli back in time for the birth," Liaw tweeted in reference to India's humiliating collapse.
Many of the replies to that gag suggested Liaw had missed the mark with his attempted humour, and urged him not to comment on players' families — even if it was in jest.
The National Herald in India hit out at critics of Sharma, writing: "Sulking Indian fans once again started blaming Bollywood actor and Captain Kohli's wife Anushka Sharma for the poor performance of Team India.
"It was worse and more insensitive than before because this time the actor's pregnancy was highlighted and blamed on social media by the frustrated netizens (internet users)."
The Times of India published a video saying "it was Anushka Sharma who faced unnecessary bashing on social media over the dismal performance of the men in blue".
Sports writer Zenia D'cunha was upset Sharma was trending online and called on over-zealous Indian fans to leave her out of it.
"I sincerely hope the usual suspects don't drag Kohli's family into this cricket mess," she tweeted.
"To go on paternity leave in the middle of an important tour is a PERSONAL & PERMITTED decision. Please don't bring his wife in it, her name is already trending for the wrong reasons!"
Writer Nishtha Satyam echoed that sentiment. "Why is @AnushkaSharma being blamed every time for Virat Kohli's performance?" she tweeted.
"This says something deeper about sexism which exists in our society. It's obscene that women are the easiest target in any situation."
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission