Former England captain Michael Vaughan has hit back on Mohammad Hafeez's comments labelling Virat Kohli's 2023 World Cup ton against South Africa as 'selfish'. Vaughan took to X (formerly Twitter) and defended Kohli's innings, stating that it was an excellent knock on a tricky surface and it proved to be a match-winning one.
Kohli's unbeaten innings of 101 off 121 in the blockbuster clash against South Africa in Kolkata attracted some criticism as he slowed down in phases, with fans on social media blaming him for playing for himself. At the innings break, the 35-year-old explained that it was a tricky wicket to bat on and that the total of 326 was well above par.
Speaking on a show named 'Top Cricket Analysis', Hafeez said the below:
"I saw sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli’s batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, he was looking to take a single to reach his own hundred and he didn’t put the team first. Rohit Sharma could have played selfish cricket too, but he didn’t because he is playing for Team India and not for himself."
Vaughan replied to a video of Hafeez speaking about Kohli's innings and said:
"Come on @MHafeez22 !!! India have 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."
Virat Kohli levels with Sachin Tendulkar for most ODI tons:
The unbeaten hundred in Kolkata meant that Kohli levelled the former batting legend Sachin Tendulkar for most centuries in ODI cricket. However, Kohli spoke at the innings break and stated that Sachin Tendulkar remains his idol and he cannot become that way.
The 34-year-old stated:
"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’ll get here, so I just feel blessed and grateful. And as I said in the post-match, for me, he’s always going to be number one, regardless of whatever happens. But I’m just happy that my journey has come so far that I’ve been able to make it till here and to be able to win games for my country like he did."
Team India have progressed to the semi-finals and have regained the top spot at the points table.