Former Indian cricket team batsman, Gautam Gambhir, offered an intriguing perspective on Virat Kohli’s record-equalling century in the Cricket World Cup 2023. While he praised Kohli for matching Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 centuries in ODI cricket, Gambhir pointed out that Kohli’s pacing could have posed a challenge for the team under different circumstances.
Kohli exhibited tremendous form during the Cricket World Cup 2023 match against South Africa, but as he approached his century, he slightly decelerated. The tricky pitch made it difficult for Kohli to score boundaries, particularly toward the end of his innings. Gambhir emphasized that if the situation demanded quicker scoring and the pitch was more challenging, Kohli’s approach could have backfired.
In an interview with Sportskeeda, Gambhir stated that India had already posted a sufficient total, allowing Kohli to slow down just before reaching his century. However, he noted that such a strategy might have proven detrimental if they were playing on a more batting-friendly pitch.
Gambhir also commended Shreyas Iyer for his significant contribution, scoring 87 runs off 97 balls, which provided valuable support to the in-form Kohli. According to Gambhir, Iyer’s innings allowed Kohli to play with freedom, effectively nullifying the threat posed by South Africa’s spinner, Keshav Maharaj.
Gambhir said, “You got to give credit to Shreyas Iyer for the way he kept taking chances and took the pressure off Virat Kohli. Both batted really well in the middle as the best time to bat was with the new ball. They expertly negotiated Keshav Maharaj, and giving him just one wicket when Jadeja picked five was brilliant.”
Gambhir’s analysis sheds light on the strategic and tactical aspects of Kohli’s innings, demonstrating the importance of adaptability and situational awareness in the game of cricket.