New Delhi:Former Indian pace bowler Venkatesh Prasad vehemently censured former Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez for his statements concerning Virat Kohli’s determination to reach his century in the World Cup match against South Africa on Sunday.
Hafeez asserted that Kohli displayed egocentric behavior when he was on the brink of his record-equalling 49th One-Day International (ODI) hundred, opting for singles rather than boundaries in the 49th over to accomplish this milestone.
In response to Hafeez’s comments, Prasad contended that Kohli’s selfishness lay in his unwavering commitment to realizing the aspirations of countless fans, his relentless quest for perfection even after achieving numerous milestones, his determination to establish new benchmarks, and his dedication to ensuring his team’s victory. Indeed, Kohli’s brand of selfishness was rooted in a profound sense of responsibility to both his team and his nation.
Prasad stated, “Listening to peculiar arguments surrounding Virat Kohli’s self-centeredness and fixation on personal achievements is indeed confounding. Yes, Kohli may be deemed selfish, but his brand of selfishness is directed towards fulfilling the dreams of a billion people, his commitment to excellence is unwavering even after numerous accomplishments, his determination to set new standards is unmatched, and his primary concern is his team’s triumph. Yes, Kohli is selfish.”
Hafeez’s criticism of Kohli revolved around his batting approach in the 49th over, where Kohli appeared more focused on achieving his century than prioritizing the team’s interests. Despite Kohli’s impressive batting display until he reached the 97-run mark, Hafeez scrutinized his intent, emphasizing that a focus on singles, rather than boundaries, demonstrated a certain self-interest. Hafeez emphasized the importance of placing the team’s success above individual milestones, underscoring that whether Kohli got out on 97 or 99 should be inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
Moreover, Hafeez drew a parallel between Kohli and Rohit Sharma, noting that the Indian captain consistently put his team’s success above his own personal accomplishments. While acknowledging that Rohit Sharma could also play selfishly, Hafeez lauded his selflessness, emphasizing that Sharma’s commitment to the Indian team’s cause was commendable. Hafeez highlighted Sharma’s selfless approach, particularly in the first six overs, as a strategic decision that contributed to the team’s victory.