'He is the greatest player in last 10 years, has 1-2 bad years' - Shoaib Akhtar blasts Virat Kohli's critics

Virat Kohli's form has been of huge concern of late.

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Shoaib Akhtar and Virat Kohli
Shoaib Akhtar and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli has been the subject of criticism from ex-cricketers and experts after his miserable run with the bat continued in the ongoing ODI series against England. But the former Indian skipper has found an unlikely ally in the form of Shoaib Akhtar as the former Pakistani quick has lashed out at the Indian batters’ critics.

Earlier this month, former Indian captain Kapil Dev urged the Indian selectors to give more chances to young batters instead of Kohli, who has been struggling for runs for the past couple of years. Kapil’s statement did not go well with the current Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, who questioned the knowledge of these experts who were criticizing the former Indian skipper’s place in the team.

After Rohit’s backing, it was former tearaway pacer Shoaib Akhtar’s turn to weigh in on the batter’s current struggles and his ongoing criticism. The iconic fast bowler revealed that Kohli is the greatest batter of the last ten years, and one or two bad years don’t tarnish his achievements as a batter. He stated that the Indian batter has scored runs, it’s just that a century has eluded him.

“I am hearing a lot of criticism about Virat Kohli. It is being said that he should be dropped. Virat Kohli is finished, this is right. There is nothing more left in his career, this is also right, and he would not be able to do anything more in his career, this is right, these types of things other people are saying to me. I told them that Virat Kohli is the greatest player in the last ten years. He has 1-2 bad years, he still has scored runs, just the century has not come,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.

Virat Kohli has 70 centuries and only a great player can score as many runs: Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib also remarked on the statement made by Kapil Dev about the stylish Indian batter’s place in the side and said that he has a lot of respect for the former World Cup-winning skipper, but he does not understand how can someone talk about dropping Kohli from the team. Although he respects the former Indian player’s opinion, he believes that humiliating and discrediting a player of that stature in the media is not right.

“You are just humiliating the guy in the media, to discredit him is not right, I do not know how can one talk about dropping him? Kapil Dev is my senior; I respect him and he has his own opinion. He is a legend; he can voice his opinion. A great cricketer can talk like that. Virat Kohli has 70 centuries and only a great player can score as many runs,” Akhtar added.

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