'Wanted Virat Kohli To Get Married After He Was Done Playing Cricket': Shoaib Akhtar
"Virat Kohli has the bat, he does not want to be dropped from the team. Performance pressure will be there on him, I wanted him to score 120 tons and not become the captain and get married after he was done with cricket," Shoaib Akhtar told ANI in an exclusive interview.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has said that he was in Virat Kohli's place then he would not have married as he would have liked to focus on his cricket. "I do not know what is right, what is wrong. It has all happened, now how to go ahead from here matters. Kohli has the bat, he does not want to be dropped from the team. Performance pressure will be there on him, I wanted him to score 120 tons and not become the captain and get married after he was done with cricket," Akhtar told ANI in an exclusive interview.
"If I was in India and was a fast-bowler, I would not have married. I would have focused on my cricket, this is my thinking. It was Kohli's personal decision. If you asked me, I would have focused on my cricket," he added.
Akhtar also stated that Virat Kohli was forced to leave the captaincy of India. Last year, Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader as the selectors wanted one skipper for the white-ball format. Kohli then stepped down as India's Test captain after leading the side for seven years.
Akhtar who is currently participating in the Legends League Cricket, while talking to ANI said: "Virat didn't leave captaincy but was forced to do so. This is not the best of times for him but he needs to prove what he is made of. Is he made of steel or iron? He is a great guy and a cricketer. Do not try too many things, just go out there and play cricket. He is a great batsman and has achieved more than anyone else in the world. He just needs to go out there and play with his natural flow."
#WATCH | Performance pressure is there on him (Virat Kohli) ...I wanted him to marry...after scoring 120 centuries...I wouldn't have married...had I been in his place... anyway, that's his personal decision..: Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Virat Kohli (23.01) pic.twitter.com/aGRi82kxxE— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2022
"He plays a lot with his bottom hand and I think when the form is out, bottom hand players usually are the first ones to get in trouble. I think he's gonna come out of this. He should move forward from this and not keep any bitterness against anyone. Just forgive everybody and keep moving," he added.
Talking about India's next Test captain, the pacer said: "I know BCCI will make a smart decision regarding this."
The schedule for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 was announced on Friday. The Men in Blue will be locking horns with Pakistan in their first match of the tournament on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The Men's T20 World Cup 2022 is slated to be held in Australia between October 16- November 13 and it will be played across seven venues -- Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Geelong, Hobart, and Perth.
"We will beat India again in Melbourne. Pakistan is a better side than India in T20 cricket. It's the Indian media that make unnecessary pressure on their team whenever we have the clash of both countries in cricket, it's normal for India to lose," Akhtar added.