Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar recently reckoned that Virat Kohli would have only managed only 50 international centuries had he played against the former India captain. Incidentally, Kohli is regarded as one of the greatest batters of this generation across all formats.
Akhtar is known for his express pace and had bowled one of the fastest deliveries in international cricket. The 46-year-old is known for giving nightmares to batters across all nations during his playing days with sheer pace.
Speaking on Sportskeeda, Shoaib Akhtar stated that Indian batting great wouldn’t have ended with so many runs in his career had he bowled against Virat Kohli. He also reckoned that he would have got the best out of the talismanic run-scorer.
“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.
Virat Kohli currently has 23650 runs in 458 international games across all three formats with 70 centuries and 122 half-century scores. However, he has not scored a hundred since November 2019 when he scored a ton against Bangladesh.
“I felt batsmen would not have wanted to face him” – Virat Kohli on Shoaib Akhtar
The 33-year-old once came closing to facing Shoaib Akhtar during a gme between India and Pakistan in Dambulla in 2010. However, Kohli got out early, which denied a contest between him and the former Pakistan speedster.
Speaking on Breakfast with Champions in 2017, Kohli recalled that day saying, “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.”
Virat Kohli is currently seen plying trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2022. He has had a couple of starts but has failed to convert it to big knocks. He will hope to make it big as RCB chase their maiden IPL title.
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