KARACHI: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that if he had played against India’s top batter Virat Kohli, he would not be able to score this many runs.
Akhtar, during an interview with an Indian sports website during the discussion on one of the matches of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), claimed had he played against Kohli, the latter wouldn’t have ended with so many runs in his career or have 70 international centuries across formats.
“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 said.
“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,” Akhtar added.
Virat, on the other hand, had previously spoken in an interview on facing Akhtar, adding that the latter appeared to be very lethal even at the later stages of his career.
“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,” Kohli said.
“At that time, I felt [that] batsmen would not have wanted to face him when he was at his peak,” he concluded.
It is pertinent to mention here that Kohli and Akhtar shared the field in only one instance which was back in the 2010 Asia Cup. However, Kohli’s early dismissal denied a contest between the two as the right-arm spinner Saeed Ajmal castled Kohli for 18.