Virat Kohli accused of being 'selfish' by Mohammad Hafeez: 'He took a lot of balls to get to his 100' | Crickit

Virat Kohli accused of being 'selfish' by Mohammad Hafeez: 'He took a lot of balls to get to his 100'

Jun 20, 2024 07:53 PM IST

Mohammad Hafeez didn't mince his words as he talked about one of Virat Kohli's centuries during the ODI World Cup last year.

Virat Kohli was India's best batter at the ODI World Cup last year, breaking the run-scoring record at the fifty-over ICC tournament. He notched up 765 runs in the edition, smashing three centuries and six fifties as Kohli produced an absolute masterclass in batting. Kohli's efforts ensured India enjoyed a 10-match unbeaten run in the tournament; however, the side endured a heartbreaking defeat in the final at the hands of Australia, who secured a cruising six-wicket win in Ahmedabad.

Virat Kohli was the highest run-scorer in the 2023 ODI World Cup
Virat Kohli was the highest run-scorer in the 2023 ODI World Cup

Regardless, the tournament is remembered for Kohli's record-breaking stint. But former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez has now stirred controversy as he revisited one of Kohli's knocks from the edition against South Africa. Kohli had remained unbeaten on 101 off 121 deliveries as India scored 326/5; the bowlers, then, produced a blistering performance to bowl the Proteas out for just 83.

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At the time, Hafeez had asserted that Kohli was only keen on completing his record-setting century in the 49th over against the Proteas; the century took Kohli level with Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI tons. “I saw sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli’s batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, he was looking to take a single to reach his own hundred and he didn’t put the team first,” Hafeez had said on a cricket show Top Cricket Analysis.

Hafeez was reminded of his comment during a conversation with Michael Vaughan and Adam Gilchrist on the Club Prairie Fire podcast. Vaughan had reacted strongly to Hafeez's initial comments, but the ex-Pakistan star reiterated his remarks months after their online feud.

“I was right that time. If you see the whole context... to me, no matter who is playing, your intention should always be to win the game,” Hafeez said.

"If someone stops himself from playing big shots in the 90s, I will never take it. After 95, if someone is taking five balls to get to his hundred, and if his intention changes after the hundred... why couldn't he play the same shot when he was on 95 or 92?

“To me, your intent should always remain the same to do whatever's the best way you can add value to the team.”

Virat took a lot of balls

Hafeez stated that Kohli turned slow as he approached his century, and suggested that the concept of personal milestones be done away with in the sport.

"In that game, Virat took a lot of balls to get to his hundred. He wasn't playing big shots. And I'm very clear. If you go through his century once again, you will realise what I was saying.

“Personal milestones should go away from the game. Your fifty, hundred, five wickets... we don't want that as a fan of cricket. We don't want that if it doesn't come in a winning cause. Even one run can matter,” said Hafeez.

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