Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Team India’s star batsman Virat Kohli faced a lot of criticism by several fans and many experts for his slow approach to complete his 49th ODI century in a bid to equal the record with great Sachin Tendulkar during the match against South Africa in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023.

Even former Pakistan captain Mohammad called Kohli ‘selfish’ for his slow batting approach against the Proteas. He also said that skipper Rohit Sharma played ‘selfless’ cricket in the crucial game.

Meanwhile, former India opener Gautam Gambhir also feels that Kohli ‘slowed down’ a bit towards the end of his inning to complete his 49th ODI century. As per the former southpaw, the move ‘could have hurt India’.

“It was important for Kohli to bat deep and I feel it was at the end, just the last 5-6 overs where he slowed down a bit, maybe because he was nearing a century. But I believe there were already enough runs on the board. It could have hurt India if they were batting on a good pitch,” said Gambhir during a recent interview while giving the example of explosive knock played by Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

“You got to give credit to Shreyas Iyer for the way he kept taking chances and took the pressure off Kohli. Both batted really well in the middle as the best time to bat was with the new ball. They expertly negotiated Keshav Maharaj and giving him just one wicket when Jadeja picked five was brilliant,” he added.

However, the likes of Michael Vaughan and Venkatesh Prasad are of the opinion that Virat wasn’t wrong in his approach as India won by over 200 runs.