Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has supported Virat Kohli to overcome his tough times with the bat and bounce back as he asked him to put behind the captaincy saga and focus on his batting.
While speaking exclusively to Sports Tak from Oman, Shoaib Akhtar said that there are “lobbies against him” and that is the main reason he quit captaincy of the India team.
Akhtar has highlighted that Virat Kohli may be angry over the recent incidents but his anger should be focused on scoring runs with the bat. He further added that Kohli needs to understand that he is great at the game and he can even score 50 more tons at the international level now as well.
“It was a tight scenario for Virat. I was in Dubai and I was aware that if he wouldn’t have won the T20 World Cup, it would have become a big problem for him and it did happen. There are lobbies against him and there are people against him and that is the reason why he stepped down,” Shoaib Akhtar told India Today.
“Whoever enjoys the star status, will always face problems but there’s nothing to fear about. Anushka (Kohli’s wife) is a very nice lady and Virat is a great guy. He just needs to be brave and not be afraid of anything. The whole country loves him, just that these are testing times for him and he needs to come strongly out of it,” he stated.
Notably, Virat Kohli has stepped down as India’s Test captain after the Test series defeat in South Africa recently. While he quit the T20 captaincy last year, he was sacked as ODI captain before the South Africa series as well.
And, the BCCI had announced this with a statement in their press release where they announced the Test squad on December 8.
He needs to work hard now – Shoaib Akhtar
However, Shoaib Akhtar shared that Virat Kohli has to work hard and focus all his energy on scoring now.
“Now that it has happened, he needs to work hard now and not work too hard. Keep it simple and just play his normal cricket. Captaincy is not an easy job – you have to handle a lot of things and there is a lot of tension that comes with that job,” he said.
“Now that he is off the hook, he just has to make sure that he enjoys his cricket. He is great and he should know that. He just has to enhance his value and should know that he can’t be imprisoned of his own bitterness. He should forget and forgive people and will become an even better human,” Shoaib Akhtar added.
“If he can give good performances in the next five-six months, he will be happy to have quit captaincy and would tell himself that he can score 120 international hundreds. His next 50 centuries will be because of the anger that he has now. And, this anger does not have to be reflected on people but in his batting,” Shoaib Akhtar concluded.