Virat Kohli
File photo of India captain Virat Kohli.AFP/Getty Images

Virat Kohli has time and again acknowledged the difficulties of being in the public eye, especially in a cricket-crazy country like India.

The superstardom brings with it a fair amount of public scrutiny, which is more often than not, irrational and out of the blue.

Kohli has seemingly become a victim of another such irrational outrage on social media.

The 29-year-old superstar cricketer has been labelled a man with "fragile ego" and "vanity" after a photograph of him seemingly trying to look taller than Indian women's singles tennis player Karman Kaur Thandi went viral on social media.

At a promotional event of a luxury watch brand in Mumbai, Kohli was seen handing over special edition watches to quite a few athletes who are reportedly part of the Virat Kohli Foundation.

A video of the event (available below), shows Kohli presenting the watches to the athletes who join him on stage.

When Thandi, who is six-foot tall comes on stage to collect her watch, Kohli can be seen trying to step onto a higher platform on the stage. The Delhi cricketer apparently gets a prompt from the photographers to do so.

Kohli reportedly stood on the higher plane so as to allow the photographers to capture the watches (tied around their wrists) in the same frame.

It wasn't a one-off incident as Kohli stood on the higher platform when Indian basketball start Satnam Singh, who is seven feet and two inches, came on to the stage to collect his watch from the skipper.

However, the photograph gave rise to a discussion over feminism and male ego as hundreds of users commented on the post that has been shared by more than 2,000 people on Twitter.

Questions were asked of Kohli's motive but quite a few batted for the cricket superstar, calling out the seemingly needless criticism that has come his way.

Virat Kohli Karman Kaur Thandi
Virat Kohli faces criticism for trying to look taller than tennis player Karman Kaur Thandi.Screengrab
Virat Kohli Karman Kaur Thandi
Twitter reactions.Screengrab