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Virat Kohli’s Century Spurs Debate in Cricket World Cup

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Virat Kohli’s recent century during India’s match against Bangladesh in the ICC Cricket World Cup has sparked a passionate debate among fans and experts. Kohli’s masterful innings led to both admiration and criticism, leaving cricket enthusiasts divided on the approach he took in pursuit of his century.

When Virat Kohli struck a six-off Bangladesh bowler Nasum Ahmed, completing his 48th international (ODI) hundred, the atmosphere at Pune’s MCA stadium was electrifying. Kohli’s unbeaten innings amassed 103 runs from 97 balls, contributing to India’s impressive seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh. This win marked India’s fourth consecutive victory in the tournament.

However, the story of Kohli’s century didn’t end on the field. It continued to unfold on social media and in the realm of cricket experts, where opinions clashed about the manner in which Kohli reached his milestone.

A key point of contention emerged when having reached 81, Kohli turned down at least five singles in the final phase of India’s innings. Kohli’s batting partner, Rahul, shed light on this decision, explaining that Kohli was initially hesitant to prioritize his century over singles, fearing that it might seem like he was solely pursuing a personal milestone.

Rahul’s perspective was clear as he shared, “He (Kohli) was confused, he said, ‘It’ll not look too nice not to take the single, it’s still a World Cup, and it’s still a big stage. I don’t want to look like I am just trying to get the milestone.'”

However, Rahul encouraged Kohli to go for the milestone, emphasizing the comfortable position of their team in the game. He added, “I mean it is not won, but still I think we’ll win quite easily, so if you can get to the milestone, why not, you must try.” In the end, Kohli did reach his century, and Rahul remained unbeaten with 34 runs to his name.

The debate surrounding Kohli’s century intensified when, with India just two runs away from the target of 257 and Kohli standing at 97, a ball from Ahmed went wide down Kohli’s leg side. Surprisingly, the on-field umpire, Richard Kettleborough, did not signal it as a wide. This decision prompted some social media comments suggesting that the umpire was somehow complicit in Kohli’s pursuit of his century.

Cricket writer Peter Della Penna took to social media to express his views, stating, “A stone-cold wide down the leg side is not given by the on-field umpire, who then smirks.” Della Penna continued, “If Kohli wants to turn down singles in pursuit of a century, so be it, but it raises integrity issues when an umpire refuses to call a blatantly obvious leg side wide in order to assist Kohli in his personal escapade.”

While some sarcastically referred to the race between Kohli’s century and India’s target as “the first close game of this World Cup,” others argued that Kohli’s approach was justified, as India’s victory was never in doubt.

Amidst this debate, former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram chose to heap praises on Kohli’s exceptional batting. Akram commended Kohli and Rahul for their batting display, highlighting their dominance over the opposition’s bowlers and their healthy run rate.

Akram noted, “They [Kohli and Rahul] were enjoying batting, toying with the bowlers at a healthy run rate.” He emphasized Kohli’s ability to run quick doubles even when he was in his 80s and 90s, despite the physical toll of fielding for 50 overs. Akram’s admiration for Kohli reached its peak as he remarked, “That guy is from a different planet.”

Former India batter Mohammad Kaif echoed this sentiment

Kohli, in a post-match statement, expressed his desire to make a significant contribution to the game. He confessed that despite having scored several half-centuries in World Cups, he was determined to convert them into centuries and stay until the end. Kohli also shared his special feeling about playing the tournament at home.

As the tournament progresses, India currently holds the second position on the points table, trailing behind leaders New Zealand in terms of net run rate. The upcoming match between these two formidable teams is eagerly anticipated, promising another thrilling chapter in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

In the world of cricket, Kohli’s century has added an extra layer of excitement and intrigue. Cricket enthusiasts worldwide are eagerly awaiting the next showdown, set to take place in Dharamsala, where India and New Zealand will cross paths.

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