- Publish Date
- Friday, 17 November 2023, 9:01AM
A former Australian international has called out the Black Caps for offering to help Indian star Virat Kohli as he suffered cramp during his record-making century which led to his side’s Cricket World Cup semifinal victory over New Zealand.
Kohli became the first man to score 50 ODI centuries when he made 117 off 113 balls as India amassed 397 for four at Wankhede Stadium. New Zealand fell short of making a third straight World Cup final when they were bowled out for 327 to lose by 70 runs.
Former Australian all-rounder Simon O’Donnell took issue with New Zealand’s sportsmanship when Kohli struggled with cramp late in his innings. O’Donnell, who played 87 ODIs for Australia in the 1980s, said the Black Caps were wrong to check in on Kohli saying ‘stuff helping him out’.
“I had a problem a couple of times last night. Virat Kohli gets cramp, they’re heading for 400 and blokes go over and help him,” O’Donnell said on SEN on Thursday.
“Why would you go and help Virat Kohli when he had a cramp? When they’re heading for 400. In a World Cup semifinal.
“Spirit of the game is playing within the laws. Virat Kohli is tearing your country apart and you want to go over and give him a hand.”
Kohli is the top runscorer at the World Cup and passed compatriot Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries to reach his 50th ton and his sixth against New Zealand.
“Under no circumstances should you have gone within 20 metres of Virat Kohli when he had a cramp,” O’Donnell added.
“He threw his bat away and one of the Kiwis went and picked it up. ‘Go and pick your own bat up while you’ve got a sore hamstring and a cramp. Stop hitting us for sixes and fours’.
“That’s not a big deal. That’s not outside the spirit of the game. It’s being competitive and saying, ‘OK, he’s being physically challenged, why are we assisting him to stay physically OK to belt the c**p out of us?’
“I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. Stuff helping him out, he’s made 50 one-day hundreds, why help him make the 50th against you in a World Cup semi-final? Give me a spell.”
In 2015, Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin suggested he was shocked at the courtesy shown by the Black Caps during their pool play meeting at the World Cup.
“They were that nice to us that we were that uncomfortable,” Haddin said at the time.
“I said in the team meeting: ‘I can’t stand for this anymore, we’re going at them as hard as we can [in the final].’
“I said, ‘I’m not playing cricket like this. If we get another crack at these guys in the final I’m letting everything [out].’”
Australia will meet Kolhi and India in the final after they edged South Africa in a low-scoring semifinal in Kolkata.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission
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