Mohammad Hafeez explains calling Virat Kohli 'selfish'

Former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has defended his old statement of calling Virat Kohli selfish after the latter's century against South Africa in the ODI World Cup 2023

Virat Kohli and Mohammad Hafeez (Source - X)?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

India's star cricketer Virat Kohli was the greatest batter at the 2023 ODI World Cup after shattering the run-scoring milestone in the fifty-over ICC event. The swashbuckling batter displayed a batting masterclass as he went on to amass 765 runs in the edition, slamming three hundred and six fifties. Pat Cummins led Australia to win the tournament in Ahmedabad with a six-wicket victory, but Kohli's efforts guided India into the final without losing a single match.

However, Kohli's unprecedented performance is what truly makes the tournament unforgettable. However, after reviewing one of Kohli's innings from the edition against South Africa, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez has now stirred controversy. Speaking about the game here, Rohit Sharma led India to 326/5, with Kohli unbeaten on 101 from 121 deliveries. However, during chase, the bowlers then fired a devastating display to bowl out the Proteas for just 83 runs on November 5 at iconic Eden Garden. This day also marks Virat Kohli's 36th birthday.

Hafeez was claiming at the time that all Virat Kohli wanted was to tie Master Blaster's Sachin Tendulkar's mark of 49 ODI tons. The Delhi-born star reached his record-breaking century in the 49th over against the Proteas.

In the same vein, Hafeez once again stirred up the controversy with the same remarks about the former India skipper. The 43-year-old Pakistani cricketer feels that he was right during that time when he was making bold headlines for commentating on Virat Kohli. The former all-rounder feels that the 36-year-old cricketer was playing magnificent shots ahead of his 90 run, but he slowed down his batting performance after 95 to achieve his 49th ODI ton. The cricketer turned analyst takes a dig at Virat Kohli by affirming that the player should not focus on his personal miles but should look forward to the team's victory.

Speaking recently on the Club Prairie Fire podcast,

Hafeez commented, "I think I was right at that time if you see the whole context. To me, no matter who is playing. Your intention and way of playing should always aim toward winning the game. But if someone is hesitating to play big shots in his 90s, I won't accept it. After 95, if someone takes five balls to get to his 100 and his intention changes after scoring 100, why can't he play the same shots he did at 95 or 92 runs? For me, the intent should always remain the sameโ€”to add the best possible value to your team's victory."

Personal milestones should be secondary to the team's success: Mohammad Hafeez

In addition to this, he further reiterated that the India star took a plethora of the ball to hammer his century during the game against Temba Bavuma-led South Africa. The Sargodha-born cricketer feels that fifties and centuries don't matter if the team loses, while stating that one run can make a big difference in the game.

"So, I felt Virat took too many balls to get to his hundred, and he wasn't playing big shots. If you review his century again, maybe you'll understand what I was saying. Personal milestones should be secondary to the team's success. As a fan of cricket, I don't appreciate 50s and 100s that aren't for a winning cause. In cricket, even one run can make the biggest difference," he added further.

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