Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has consistently hailed Indian skipper Virat Kohli. The former cricketer on his YouTube channel has rated Kohli as the best batsman of his generation on numerous occasion. However, Akhtar has also received a considerable amount of criticism from his own country when he appreciates the brand of cricket India plays under Kohli.
Once again Akhtar has come ahead and asserted that Kohli’s growth as a cricketer has truly been extraordinary. Akhtar credited the system of Indian cricket for grooming Kohli at a time when he was considered a brat at a young age in the early phase of his career.
“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.
Shoaib Akhtar Hails Growth Of Virat Kohli
Meanwhile, Kohli is presently regarded as the best all-format batsman in the world. The 31-year-old is also the only batsman to average in access of 50 in all forms of cricket. Kohli currently has 70 international centuries and is only behind Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar.
Coming back to Shoaib Akhtar, he rated Virat Kohli as one the greatest ever batsman. He believes that a player like him should always be admired and respected even in Pakistan regardless he’s Indian or not.
“I criticize India as well. But if Virat Kohli has 12,000 runs, what else you can say, Rohit Sharma has two double centuries in One Day cricket, what can you say. The enemy’s qualities should be known among us. Kohli has become the greatest batsman, what can you say, should I say he is a bad person or he is not a good player,” Akhtar said.
Moreover, Kohli will return to action in the upcoming IPL season in the UAE. The star batsman last played a competitive match earlier this year against New Zealand. He will be once again leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore Franchise in IPL 2020. RCB will play their opening match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 21 at Abu Dhabi.