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India can’t only rely on Virat Kohli every time, says former Pakistan speed machine Shoaib Akhtar

Some Pakistan fans didn't like Akhtar's supportive tweet for the Indian team.

Virat Kohli
India skipper Virat Kohli reacts after being dismissed. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A day after praising Virat Kohli over his scintillating 149 that brought India back into the game in the first Test against England in Birmingham, former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar had a word of caution for the Indian team which eventually lost the match by 31 runs. In a tweet, the 42-year-old former bowler said India could not afford to only rely on Kohli to pull them through every time.

Akhtar not only called Kohli an “amazing player” but also praised his “dedication and determination”. He also patted the Indian captain for batting with the tail in India’s first innings to take his team’s total closer to that of the opponent. Kohli was left to do the job with the lower order after India faced a batting collapse and the gritty resistance from Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav saw him carrying the fight to the opposition.

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In the second innings, too, Kohli was left to the do the same job as India collapsed again while chasing 194 to win. However, he could not pull off yet another effort and fell for 51 to see India losing the game by 31 runs. Akhtar is the second foreign cricketer after former Australian cricketer Dean Jones to advise India’s other batsmen to rise to the occasion and back Kohli’s single-handed efforts.

Jones had asked the Indian batsmen to master the art of defence – both forward and backward – besides the art of leaving the ball. As many as six Indian batsmen were either bowled or got trapped before the wicket in the first innings at Edgbaston while five Indian batsmen were caught by England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow in the second innings.

In his tweet, Akhtar wrote, “Indian batting just can’t depend on Virat every now & then Indian batting got to perform better then this .. I hope Hindustan make a strong come back in series ….” Akhtar heaped praise on Kohli for making a thumping comeback in a country where he failed miserably in the last series in 2014, managing just 134 runs in 10 innings.

Some Pakistan fans didn’t like Akhtar’s supportive tweet for the Indian team. Here’s how they responded.

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