Shoaib Akhter has recalled that Virat Kohli was a brat in 2010-11 and was nowhere to be seen but praised him for his transformation over the years. He added that Kohli should not be questioned for playing in an era that is dominated by batsmen when compared with other greats of the game.
Recently, Shoaib Akhtar has been at the receiving end of criticism of his repeated praise for India, and continuous bashing of Pakistan cricket. On that topic, Akhtar explained that even though there are times he criticizes the Indian cricket team too, the fact that they have two of the best batsmen in the world in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma doesn’t leave him with enough ammunition to fire at them.
Akhtar has once again spoken highly of Virat Kohli and stated that the India captain’s growth as a batsman over the years has been terrific. Akhtar recalled the first few years of Kohli in international cricket, calling him a ‘brat’, but admitted that the tremendous transformation shown by him along with the backing of the team management deserves praise.
“Virat Kohli has reached a whole new level, but who is behind the Kohli brand? In 2010, 2011, Kohli was nowhere to be seen. He was part of the circle; he was a brat like me. All of a sudden, the system supported him. The management went around him. He also realised that there’s a lot of reputation at stake,” Akhtar said on a YouTube Show Cricket Baaz, reported Hindustan Times.
Kohli is India’s highest ODI run-getter and century-maker after Tendulkar and is the leading T20I run-getter in the world with 2794 runs. Akhtar weighed in on Kohli’s comparison with Sachin Tendulkar and mentioned that the Indian captain playing in an era dominated by batsmen should take nothing away from what he’s achieved in his career.
“It’s not his fault that he’s playing in an era of easy cricket, or if Sachin played in a tougher era or Wasim, Waqar and Inzamam have player a much more competitive brand of cricket. So if he’s scoring runs, what we can say about it?” Akhtar said.