Former England player Michael Vaughan slammed the ex-Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez for calling Indian middle-order batter Virat Kohli “selfish” after the 35-year-old scored his 49th ODI century in the 37th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 against South Africa in Kolkata on November 5.
Vaughan, who represented England in 170 international matches, stated that calling Kohli selfish was utterly nonsense after he was asked to play an anchor role on the tricky spinning wicket of Kolkata.
“Come on @MHafeez22 !!! India has hammered 8 teams playing great cricket… @imVkohli now has 49 tons, and his last was an anchor role innings on a tricky pitch… His team won by over 200!!!! This is utter nonsense… #CWC2023 #India #Pakistan,” Vaughan posted on X, formerly Twitter.
It must be noted 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.
Kohli equalled the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record of scoring most centuries in 50-over cricket but he did it in much fewer innings (277) than The Little Master (452).