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Why help Virat Kohli when he had a cramp?: Former Australian bowler questions New Zealand

Virat Kohli is tearing your country apart and you want to go over and give him a hand, says Simon O'Donnell

PTI Mumbai Published 16.11.23, 11:02 AM
India's Virat Kohli with New Zealand's players during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup semifinal match between India and New Zealand, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

India's Virat Kohli with New Zealand's players during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup semifinal match between India and New Zealand, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. PTI

Cricket fraternity the world over might be cherishing Virat Kohli's record-setting 50th ODI century but former Australian pacer Simon O'Donnell has flayed New Zealand's gesture of helping the batting great when he was suffering from cramps during the World Cup semifinal here.

Kohli, 35, was seen struggling with cramps during his 113-ball 117, which powered India into the World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

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A few New Zealand players opted to assist the star India batter while he was struggling with cramps, and O'Donnell said he had a "problem" with that gesture.

Kohli's century and pacer Mohammed Shami's seven-wicket haul helped India maul the Blackcaps by 70 runs.

"I had a problem a couple of times last night. Virat Kohli gets cramp, they're (India) heading for 400 (runs) and (New Zealand) blokes go over and help him," O'Donnell, who played 87 ODIs for Australia primarily as a pace bowler, said on Sen Radio.

"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." On whether it made any difference to the outcome of the match in the end, O'Donnell indicated the Kiwi players shouldn't have gone anywhere near Kohli when he was cramping.

"Don't care. Under no circumstances should you have gone within 20 metres of Virat Kohli when he had a cramp.

"He (Virat) 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 crap out of us?' India opener Shubman Gill had retired hurt due to cramps when on 79 and Kohli too was seen struggling during the later part of his 149-minute stay at the crease.

"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 semifinal? Give me a spell."

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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