Shoaib Akhtar said he and Virat Kohli “would have been the best of friends”.© AFP
Virat Kohli is one of the few batsmen who has managed to confidently tackle most of the bowlers around the world. However, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes that the Indian captain would have enjoyed himself if he had played against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shane Warne. “I wish Virat Kohli had played against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shane Warne. Even Virat would have enjoyed himself,” Shoaib Akhtar said on an ESPNCricinfo video podcast with Sanjay Manjrekar.
The 44-year-old Pakistani cricket star was full of praise of Virat Kohli and said the two “would have been the best of friends” if they had played together.
“Virat Kohli and I would have been the best of friends. We both are Punjabi, we both have quite a similar nature,” Akhtar said.
“He seems like he has a lot of heart, and even though, he’s a lot junior to me, I really respect him,” he added.
Akhtar was quick to add that despite the similarities between the pair, the two cricketers “would have been the best of enemies” on the field.
“We would have been the best of friends. But on the field, we would have been the best of enemies,” he said.
“I would initially get into Virat Kohli’s head. I would tell him that there’s no way he can cut or pull me off my bowling,” Akhtar added.
Akhtar claimed 178 Test wickets in 46 matches, 247 wickets in 163 One-day Internationals and 19 wickets in 15 T20 Internationals for Pakistan before retiring from international cricket in 2011.
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