Mohammad Hafeez slams Virat Kohli after 49th ODI century

The 35-year-old reached the milestone against South Africa in Kolkata

By Web Desk
November 06, 2023
Mohammad Hafeez (R) says that Virat Kohli (L) played with a selfish approach against South Africa. — AFP

Former Pakistani captain Mohammad Hafeez accused India’s Virat Kohli of playing with a selfish approach after the 35-year-old scored his 49th ODI century in an ICC World Cup 2023 match against South Africa at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Sunday.

Hafeez argued that Kohli was thinking of taking singles in the last overs instead of going for a boundary which he didn’t like.

“I saw a sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli’s batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, you’re thinking of your milestone and not winning the game,” Hafeez said while talking on a local sports show.

“I am not saying Virat didn’t play well. He batted beautifully till he reached 97. The last three singles he took, I am talking about the intent. He was looking for singles instead of hitting boundaries.”

Hafeez then stated that it is completely normal to think your milestone as it comes in a batter’s mind but one should always think of the team.

“Yes [it is] absolutely fine that the milestone is in your mind, but what is your first goal? You are representing your country to win games, if he had tried to hit a four or six on those three balls after scoring 97 runs and had failed, I am okay with that. But the intent in the 49th over was to take singles [to complete your century].

“This is where I am standing, maybe people praised him, I am his big fan too, but this act [of taking singles in the last overs], to me was a selfish approach,” he added.

It must be noted that Kohli equalled the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record of scoring most centuries in 50-over cricket but he did it in much less innings (277) than The Little Master (452).

It is also worth mentioning that Kohli now has 119 scores of 50 or more in ODI cricket, crossing Kumar Sangakkara (118). Tendulkar tops the list with 145.

He also crossed 6,000 ODI runs at home during the match against South Africa. He currently stands second on the list, behind Tendulkar again.

India defeated South Africa in a one-sided encounter on Sunday by 243 runs as the Proteas were bundled out on just 83 runs during their chase of 327-run target.


    Talha commented 4 months ago

    Hafeez has strike rate of 76. Means, he remained selfish all his life. Someone tell him to be graceful and appreciate someone's feat.

    Amit Gera commented 4 months ago

    Because his role was to be the anchor, surya and jadeja were doing there job.. It's a no brainer.. Just wonder how do these thoughts even come to someone's mind! And that too a cricketer!

    Surinder Dhadialla commented 4 months ago

    Only jealous people make comments like Hafeez. I'm sure even he must have done the same in Virat's place...India still won against SA...Suddenly these ex cricketers become God Fathers of the Game. I commend Sachin who encouraged Virat to go for the 50th century to surpass the tie. What a sportsman!

    Salman commented 4 months ago

    I totally disagree with his point of view. If kohli is able to win the match no one should comment on how. Hafeez should rather concentrate on Pakistan team and their shortfalls without being personal or biased

    [email protected] commented 4 months ago

    Viral kholi did the right thing because win of India was written on the wall and he secured his century to join the world record