Shoaib Akhtar expresses doubt over Virat Kohli’s domination in his era
Kohli was up against Akhtar only once in the 2010 Asia Cup
Akhtar said that the Indian batter would not have scored so many runs had he faced him
Kohli is now the seventh-highest run-scorer in international cricket
Legendary speedster Shoaib Akhtar said that had Virat Kohli faced him he would not have scored more runs in international cricket. Kohli has over 20,000 runs in international cricket now. But the Indian cricketer has been out of form for the last two years. In the ongoing season of IPL, he is yet to play an impactful innings. His poor form is a worry for both Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Indian cricket team, with the T20 World Cup in Australia just months away from the kickoff.
Kohli was up against Akhtar in the 2010 Asia Cup in Dambulla. However, his early removal denied a contest between the then youngster and the veteran pacer.
Recollecting the match, Kohli, in a session on Breakfast with Champions, said, “I’ve never faced Shoaib Akhtar but I’ve seen him in a game in Dambulla against Pakistan. I got out, (so) I couldn’t face him. But I saw him bowl and he looked very lethal even at the later stages of his career. At that time, I felt (that) batsmen would not have wanted to face him when he was at his peak.”
Five years later, during the IPL 2022, in an interview with Sportskeeda, Akhtar said that Kohli would never have ended up scoring so many runs had he ever faced him.
“Virat Kohli is a good person and a big cricketer and you only expect big words from big players. And I thank him a lot for that. But, if I would have played against Virat Kohli then he would not have scored these many runs but whatever he would have scored those would have been fabulous and it would look that he really fought hard for those runs. He may not have had 50 centuries. 20 or 25 may at the most but those would have been valiant hundreds. I would have gotten the best out of Virat Kohli,” he said.
Kohli so far scored 23650 runs in 458 international with 70 centuries and 122 half-centuries. The former India skipper is now the seventh-highest scorer in world cricket and the third-highest among Indians after Sachin Tendulkar (34357 runs) and Rahul Dravid (24208 runs).