India’s match against Bangladesh at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, was nailbiting in the strangest way. We were not so much nervous about the final outcome, but whether Virat Kohli would be able to reach his 48th ODI century or not was the greatest concern. And thankfully, he did it, and it wouldn’t have been possible without KL Rahul’s support.
Towards the end of the match, Virat Kohli was approaching a century, but there were not so many runs left for India to win and conclude the match. With 26 runs and 68 balls remaining, the chase-master hit a six and scored 80. After that, it was all about calculation and his striking partnership with KL Rahul that helped him reach the 100 target.
Kohli and Rahul strategically denied singles between the overs, only taking them at the last ball of the over so that Kohli remains at the strike. The duo ran between the overs only when double runs were possible. In the final moments, the bowler even delivered a wide, but the umpire did not declare one and eventually, with three runs remaining to reach the century and two runs left to win the match, Kohli hit a six and fulfilled both.
Rahul later revealed, “I denied single to Virat Kohli, he said it would be bad if you won’t take singles, people will think I’m playing for personal milestone. But I said we are comfortably winning, you complete your century”.
Naturally, Rahul’s selfless cricket became a heartwarming sight for the fans. It became especially noteworthy because Rahul himself wasn’t able to complete his century when he mistakenly delivered a six instead of a four and concluded the India vs Australia World Cup match three runs away from a hundred.
Fans called Rahul a true sportsman and a selfless cricketer. Take a look:
KL Rahul couldn't complete his hundred in first match— Sagar (@sagarcasm) October 19, 2023
But he made sure Kohli completes it pic.twitter.com/6UhVxeIdG4
Every Virat Kohli needs a friend like KL Rahul in his life pic.twitter.com/fOvJoNcKeE— leisha (@katyxkohli17) October 19, 2023
if KL Rahul smiles, it means it must've been a really great moment. pic.twitter.com/HZEVJSIOUc— Prateek. (@Prateeeex_) October 19, 2023
This sport will never see such a duo again .— Sohel. (@SohelVkf) October 19, 2023
KL Rahul you won millions of fans today ❤️🙌🏻. pic.twitter.com/BFSs5JFRjm
It’s moments like these that make cricket as a sport so endearing. Here’s rooting for many more centuries by both KL Rahul and Virat Kohli.