Virat Kohli scores his 48th ODI ton in the World Cup match against Bangladesh© AFP
Indian batting icon Virat Kohli achieved another milestone in his illustrious career and recorded his 48th century in ODI cricket as India defeated Bangladesh in a 2023 World Cup match. As the cricket fraternity celebrated Kohli’s new milestone, there were some who wondered whether Kohli slowing down to reach 100 at the end of the match was the right move. There were moments in the match when his non-distinctive partner KL Rahul even denied singles to ensure Kohli got the strike. However, veteran India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was not happy with this approach.
“As much as I wanted Virat Kohli to score that hundred, you have to keep in mind that you want to end the game as early as possible. You want your Net Run Rate to be at the top. If you are in a position where you are fighting for the Net Run Rate, you don’t want to look back and say ‘you could have done that’,” Cheteshwar Pujara told ESPN Cricinfo.
Pujara believes that Kohli and other Indian players should put taming first. As far as personal milestones are concerned, Pujara believes that the player’s mentality also matters.
“That’s where I feel like as a collective decision you might have to make some sacrifices. You want to look at the team, you want to put the team first, that’s how I look at it. You want your milestone, but not the cost of the team. As a player you always have a choice. But some players feel that if they get a hundred it will help them in the next match. So it depends on what kind of mentality you have,” he added.
Australian legend Matthew Hayden also had an opinion on the subject, saying the shape can come back to bite the player if he starts flirting with it.
“My first reaction was that he has earned the right to reach a hundred. You have to be very careful in these tournaments. These things are important. The great Ian Bishop talks about this often, these things are important. The sporting gods are sinister. If you start flirting with those kinds of shapes, it can come back to bite you. But it’s a decision they both made. I don’t really have a problem with that.” Hayden said.
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