The umpire, Richard Kettleborough, made the situation more dramatic by not calling a wide when Kohli was about to score 97 runs, and India needed just two runs to win. In the India vs. Bangladesh World Cup 2023 match in Pune, Virat Kohli‘s strong desire to achieve his century added excitement.
He avoided taking singles for three overs, aiming to keep the strike and went for big hits to reach his 48th ODI century, making it the central focus during India’s chase. Adding more drama, umpire Richard Kettleborough didn’t call a clear wide when Kohli was at 97, and India needed just two runs to win.
Virat Kohli watches as umpire Kettleborough refrains from calling a wide
As India comfortably approached the 257-run target with seven wickets remaining, requiring 28 runs in 12 overs, the outcome of the match was essentially determined.
KL Rahul allowed Kohli to retain the strike after Kohli had taken a single in the first ball of the 39th over. Afterward, for the following four overs, the focus shifted from the India-Bangladesh match to Kohli’s pursuit of his century.
Kohli decided to take on the challenge and aimed for his third World Cup century, needing 20 runs to achieve it, just like India needed 20 more runs to secure their fourth win in the tournament. He reached 80 with a six and took a single off the last ball of the over.
Kohli was determined to achieve his century and get India to victory. He made it clear by avoiding singles and aiming for big hits. As he reached 97, an umpiring decision regarding a wide ball added controversy to the situation.
The umpire did not call it wide, which seemed to be a poor decision in the replay, and even he acknowledged his mistake by shaking his head after seeing it on the big screen.
The Pune crowd and Kohli were okay with the umpire’s decision not to call it a wide, as it kept the century possibility alive. However, it raises questions about whether this approach showed disrespect to the game and the opposition.
KL Rahul later revealed that he encouraged Kohli to go for his century, even though Kohli was initially hesitant to avoid taking singles.
As for umpire Kettleborough’s decision, it has sparked debate and controversy, evident from the numerous tweets and circulating videos on social media.