“Put The Team First”: Cheteshwar Pujara On Virat Kohli Slowing Down To Reach 100 | Cricket News

“Put The Team First”: Cheteshwar Pujara On Virat Kohli Slowing Down To Reach 100 | Cricket News

Virat Kohli scores his 48th ODI ton in World Cup match vs Bangladesh© AFP

Indian batting icon Virat Kohli reached a new milestone in his illustrious career, notching up his 48th century in ODI cricket as India hammered Bangladesh in a World Cup 2023 match. As the cricketing fraternity celebrated Kohli’s new milestone, there were a few who wondered if Kohli slowing down to reach his hundred at the end of the game was the right move. There were moments in the match where his non-striking partner KL Rahul would even deny singles to ensure Kohli get the strike. Veteran India batter Cheteshwar Pujara, however, wasn’t happy with this approach.

“As much I wanted Virat Kohli to score that hundred, you have to keep in mind, you want to finish the game as early as possible. You want your Net Run Rate to be at the top. If you are in a position where you are fighting for the Net Run Rate, then you don’t want to look back and say ‘you could have done that’,” Cheteshwar Pujara told ESPN Cricinfo.

Pujara is of the opinion that Kohli and other Indian players should be putting the tem first. As far as personal milestones, Pujara feels it’s the mindset of the player that also matters.

“That’s where I feel that as a collective decision, maybe you have to sacrifice a bit. You want to look at the team, you want to put the team first, that’s how I look at it. You want your milestone, but not at the cost of the team. As a player, you always have a choice. But some players feel if they get a hundred, it helps them in the next game. So it depends on what kind of mindset you have,” he added.

Australia legend Matthew Hayden also opined on the subject, saying form can bite the player if he starts flirting with it.

“My initial reaction was he has earned the right to get to his hundred. You have got to be very careful in these tournaments. These things matter. The great Ian Bishop often talks about this, these things matter. The sporting gods are sinister-like, if you start flirting with that sort of form, then it can bit you. But it’s a decision that they both took. I don’t really have a problem with that.” Hayden said.

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