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Men’s ODI WC: You want to put the team first, says Pujara on Kohli going slow to get 48th ODI ton

New Delhi : Indian Test batter Cheteshwar Pujara gave his take following Virat Kohli’s remarkable achievement of scoring his 48th ODI century against Bangladesh, which he accomplished by strategically refraining from taking singles in the final overs of the run chase.

A section of fans expressed their opinion on social media regarding Kohli’s choice to refrain from taking singles while partnering with KL Rahul. In the final phase of the Indian chase to reach 257, Kohli managed to score the last 30 runs primarily by keeping the strike to himself. During this period, Kohli faced 8 dot balls in the last 21 deliveries.

“As much I wanted Virat Kohli to score that hundred, you have to keep in mind, that 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.

“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.

Meanwhile, Australian former cricketer Mathew Hayden advised the team to take care of Net Run Rate (NRR) in a big tournament like the World Cup as it can come back to haunt teams in the end.

“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 bite you. But it’s a decision that they both took. I don’t really have a problem with that,” said Hayden.

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