Virat Kohli Should "Stop Playing T20Is", Says Shoaib Akhtar. Explains Why
India star batter Virat Kohli ended his century in the longest format when he smashed a ton against Australia in the fourth and final Test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad
- NDTV Sports Desk
- Updated: March 21, 2023 03:08 PM IST
India star batter Virat Kohli ended his century in the longest format when he smashed a ton against Australia in the fourth and final Test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad. This century turned out to be a special one as Kohli had last hit the triple figures in Tests back in November 2019 against Bangladesh. It was Kohli's 29th Test ton and 75th international ton. As the 34-year-old batter battled through his lean patch and returned to his vintage form, speculations are being made that he might just surpass cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar's mighty feat of 100 international tons.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar came up with very different advice and stated that the former India skipper should stick only to the Test and ODI format and forget about the T20Is as the shortest format is draining him out.
“As a cricketer, if you ask me, I feel he should stop playing T20Is and stick with only Test and ODI formats. T20I unki energy bahot nikaal deta hai (T20I format drains a lot of his energy). He is a very excited kind of character. He wants to be out there, he wants to look good. He wants to have a good time in T20Is. He likes it. But at times, he needs to save his body. How old is he right now? 34 right? Easily he can play for about 6 to 8 years. If he plays 30-50 more Test matches, I'm sure it won't be difficult for him to score 25 centuries in those Test matches,” Akhtar told Sports Tak.
“However, it will still be a daunting task for him in terms of fitness and mental health. Luckily, he is a strong guy, he is a Punjabi guy. It's great that he is in a good frame of mind. He is concentrating and having a good time with his cricket. So he should remain focused and cross the 100-century barrier. And India will reserve high praise for him. And all these trash talks about Babar Azam and Virat Kohli - these are great players. Who is bigger than Kohli or Babar in Asia? No one. So all these loose talks are done just to grab attention,” he added.
Talking about the fourth Test, Kohli scored 186 runs as his knock played a crucial role in helping India play out a draw with Australia and eventually book a World Test Championship final with Australia.
Currently, Team India is squaring off against Australia in the three-match ODI series. The series now levelled at 1-1 after the visitors registered a thumping 10-wicket win in the second match.
The third and final ODI will be played on Wednesday at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.