Virat Kohli and I would’ve been best friends off the field and the worst enemies on the field: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar also said that he respects Kohli a lot.
Updated - May 24, 2020 12:49 pm
Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar always had good relations with the Indian cricketers irrespective of the strained relations between the two countries. He recently revealed that he used to go for a dinner with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and others during his playing days. Now he has claimed that he would’ve had great relationship with Virat Kohli as well if he was playing now.
The Rawalpindi Express has always spoken highly of the Indian captain. He had termed him as a modern day Don Bradman lauding his exceptional batting skills. Earlier, he had also praised Kohli for his captaincy tactics and lavished praise on him for backing the fast bowlers in the team also calling him the bowlers’ captain.
While speaking to Sanjay Manjrekar on ESPNCricinfo podcast, Shoaib Akhtar felt that being Punjabis, both he and Kohli would’ve gelled along quite well. But they wouldn’t have been so kind to each other on the field and the tussle between them would’ve been the fiercest. Like the India skipper, even Akhtar was aggressive during his playing days and also had heated alercations with a lot of Indian players on the field.
“Virat Kohli would have been best of my friends, because both of us are Punjabis and we have similar kind of nature, even though he is a lot junior to me, I really respect him. We would have been best off the friends but on the field, we would have been the best of the best enemies,” he said.
Shoaib Akhtar also reveals how he would’ve dismissed Kohli
Interestingly, Shoaib Akhtar had earlier revealed the way he would’ve picked Virat Kohli‘s wicket if he had gotten a chance to bowl at him. The pacer stated that he would’ve gone wide of the crease and shape the ball away from the batsman making him drive the pitched up delivery. He also said that his extreme pace would’ve been enough to dismiss the 31-year-old.
“If I was bowling, I would go wider of the crease and pitch the ball up [to Kohli] and shape it away from him in order to make him drive. If that does not work, I will bowl him at 150 [kph] and he will get out,” Akhtar added.