Comparisons with Virat Kohli upsets Umar Akmal

Comparisons with Virat Kohli upsets Umar Akmal

Umar Akmal of Pakistan
Umar Akmal. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Umar Akmal, the talented 27-year-old Pakistani batsman was slated for greatness. But as it goes with Pakistani cricket, his inconsistency doesn’t even warrant him a regular spot in the playing XI. Umar scored a quick fire 66 of 42 balls for Lahore Qalandars against defending champions Islamabad United and helped his team win the game.

However, Umar got out with 34 runs still needed for victory and was instantly questioned about his inability to finish the matches. Often compared with Virat Kohli, talent-wise, Umar was quick to retort by stating that the two batted at two different batting slots and it was highly unfair on him to be compared to Kohli, who has batted up the order all his career.

“Since his (Kohli) debut, he is batting at No. 3 and I have been playing at No. 6. Let me play at 3 and Kohli at 6, then compare me to him. Compare him with Babar Azam, who is doing well at 3. He is in great form, so you can compare him with Babar,” an upset Umar was quoted saying media.

While Kohli is regarded as the epitome of modern day batting for his discipline, work ethic, and fitness, The younger among Akmal brothers has been often criticised for the lack the same. Back in 2011, he disobeyed skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s instruction during the tour of Zimbabwe. He ran into issues with once coach Waqar Younis. This was mainly based on the allegation that Umar complained about his batting position to legendary Pakistan captain Imran Khan about him being played down the order.

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However, Umar denied the allegation that he complained about his batting position. “I never wailed over my number,” he insisted. “I do everything for my team. Whatever cricket I have played, it’s for the team and the number comes later. But when people compare me with Kohli, only then do I point out that I bat in the lower middle order.”

Statistically, Kohli and Akmal are a class apart. Kohli has already scored 27 ODI hundreds versus Akmal’s 2. Notably, the Indian batting mainstay has revelled in chasing down scores and has scored 17 hundreds while chasing, of which 15 were successful. Kohli has made 16 fifties in 48 T20s where Akmal has only managed eight in 82 matches.

But, the PSL seems to have lifted Umar’s spirits and he was all praise for his captain Brendon McCullum. “Brendon is a great player, one of the best captains and is boosting every player. He has a role and he is performing it to the best of his ability,” said Umar. His team, Lahore Qalanders is currently at the second position in PSL.

Written by Rameez Mannil