Meme makers had a field day after Michael Vaughan broke the internet with his tweet about Pakistan’s World Cup exit, a dig at Mohammad Hafeez.
Meme makers had a field day after ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan broke the internet with his tweet taking a dig at former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez following the Babar Azam-led team’s exit from the 2023 Cricket World Cup on Saturday.
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Pakistan needed to win the match against England inside three overs. Instead, they lost by 93 runs, ensuring the flight home of the Islamic country’s players.
As the Babar Azam-led team exited the Cricket World Cup, Mohammad Hafeez found prominence among social media trends for his apparent grudge against Indian talisman Virat Kohli.
The controversy started on Sunday when Mohammad Hafeez called Virat Kohli “selfish” after his record-equaling hundred against South Africa in the World Cup.
Virat Kohli anchored the Indian innings and remained unbeaten on 101 off 121 balls.
Pundits commentating on the match agreed that the pitch was tricky to bat as it helped the South African spinners, who caused some problems for the home team’s batsmen.
Although it was difficult to get against South Africa’s slow bowlers, especially against Keshav Maharaj, Virat Kohli managed to dig in and ensure that India put a good total on the scoreboard.
Eden Gardens, packed to the rafters, were treated to a Virat Kohli masterclass as he powered the hosts to 326/5 in their allotted 50 overs.
Despite Virat Kohli’s stunning knock, Mohammad Hafeez felt that the talismanic India batsman put his milestone ahead of the team’s cause and should have made his runs much quicker than he did.
“I saw a sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli’s batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, he wanted to take a single to reach his own hundred and he didn’t put the team first,” said Mohammad Hafeez in a Pakistani TV show.
Comparing Virat Kohli’s knock to Rohit Sharma’s, Mohammad Hafeez claimed that the latter played for the team as he gave them a blistering start.
Rohit Sharma scored 40 off 24 balls as Team India raced to 62/1 in under six overs.
“Rohit Sharma could have played selfish cricket too but he didn’t because he plays for Team India and not for himself. You have to give credit to Rohit Sharma. The way he sacrifices his innings with the right intention is commendable. The way he batted the first six overs. He gave that damn blow to South Africa. He knew the pitch was going to be tough and had to attack when the ball is new and hard. Your captain can also play like you but his target is bigger than his personal performance. Rohit can also meet centuries,” explained Mohammad Hafeez.
“I’m not saying Virat didn’t play well. He batted beautifully till he reached 97. The last three singles he took, I’m talking about intent. He was looking for singles instead of hitting boundaries. Who cares if he gets out on 97 or 99. The team should always be above the personal milestone, the former Pakistan all-rounder added.
Mohammad Hafeez’s comments earned him a fling from former India coach Venkatesh Prasad, who criticized him for insulting Virat Kohli.
“Hearing funny arguments that Virat Kohli is selfish and obsessed with personal milestone. Yes Kohli is selfish, selfish enough to follow the dream of a billion people, selfish enough to strive for excellence even after achieving so much, selfish enough to put new benchmarks, selfish enough to ensure his team wins. Yes, Kohli is selfish,” wrote Venkatesh Prasad on X.
The following day, it was England’s Ashes-winning former captain, Michael Vaughan, who didn’t mince words when he criticized Mohammad Hafeez for his “nonsense” comments about Virat Kohli.
“Come on Mohammad Hafeez!!! India has clubbed 8 teams playing good cricket. Virat Kohli now has 49 tons and his last was an anchor innings on a tricky pitch. His team won by over 200!!!! This is pure nonsense,” Michael Vaughan wrote on the microblogging site.
The bitter war of words between Michael Vaughan and Mohammad Hafeez continued as the latter tried to hit back at the former by sharing an example of Ben Stokes’ hundred against the Netherlands.
Mohammad Hafeez described Ben Stokes’ dismissal of 108 off 84 balls against the Netherlands that helped England end a five-match losing streak as selfless before telling Michael Vaughan that Virat Kohli’s innings was selfish.
“The savior of the ship Ben Stokes. Good 100 under pressure anchored the innings where it was required with aggressive intent to get maximum runs for the team to win in the end. A pure example to differentiate selfish vs selfless approach Michael Vaughan,” said Mohammad Hafeez.
Michael Vaughan admitted that Ben Stokes produced a good knock but backed his earlier comments about Virat Kohli.
“Fantastic innings from Ben Stokes Mohammad Hafeez. Like Virat was on a difficult pitch in Kolkata against a better attack,” replied Michael Vaughan.
Sometime later, Michael Vaughan seemed to have found the answer to Mohammad Hafeez’s hatred of the premier India batsman. He informed the netizens that Virat Kohli once dismissed the former Pakistan cricketer, making him one of the few players to lose his wicket to the Indian superstar’s bowling.
“It seems to me Mohammad Hafeez that you were bowled by Virat Kohli !!! Is this why you are constantly bashing him,” Michael Vaughan broke the internet with his post.
Michael Vaughan didn’t stop there as he re-shared the video of Mohammad Hafeez dismissing Virat Kohli with the caption “Have a good day” following Pakistan’s near exit from the World Cup following New Zealand’s win over Sri Lanka.
Over the weekend, after Pakistan lost to England by 93 runs and their batsmen once again let the team down, Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Maybe Pakistan batsmen need to be a bit more selfish like Virat.”
Michael Vaughan’s swipe at Mohammad Hafeez drew sharp reactions on the internet, with netizens having fun at the latter’s expense.
While some criticized him for insulting Virat Kohli, others urged him to focus more on the Pakistan cricket team’s performance rather than analyzing the performances of the Team India cricketers.
Some mocked Mohammad Hafeez calling him “ghante ka expert”, a phrase used to troll former cricketers who often make silly mistakes while analyzing a match or a player.
On the other hand, a special section named Michael Vaughan, father of Mohammad Hafeez, when he showed him his place in the world of cricket.
Another set of Indian cricket fans hailed Michael Vaughan for owning the clown, who is none other than Mohammad Hafeez.
Earlier, former Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz showed his disagreement with Mohammad Hafeez over his bizarre comments on Virat Kohli.
“I don’t agree. The role is defined differently. Virat’s role is to take the game deep. In the last eight overs, India scored 75 runs. Surya and Jadeja played fast but Kohli made sure he was there at the other end. if Kohli would have got out, we wouldn’t have seen these two cameos and India might not have crossed the 300-run mark,” said retired Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz.
“We are talking about role identification. Rohit and Shubman go all guns blazing. Then Virat plays the role of anchor and takes the game deep. If Rohit and Shubman come out early, Shreyas will be the aggressor, Kohli and KL Rahul will break through. It is very clear. yes Kohli batted slowly but if not for him India would not have posted 326,” he signed off.
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