Virat Kohli has not been at his best with the bat for some time now. He has awaited his 71st international century since November 2019. The legendary batter did not have the best time in the Indian T20 League 2022, scoring 341 runs in 16 games at an average of 22.73 and a strike rate of 115.99.
His performance has invited a lot of critics, who have slammed him for his poor run. Former cricketers such as Virender Sehwag, Daniel Vettori, and Ian Bishop, among others have gone to criticize the former Indian captain as well. However, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has now come to Virat Kohli’s defence.
He said that the critics should watch out for what they speak as many people look up to them. He also believed that Virat Kohli could go on to score 110 centuries in his career.
“Before passing statements, people should understand that small kids look up to them. Say good things about Virat Kohli. Give him the respect he deserves. As a Pakistani, I am saying that he is the greatest player of all time. I want him to score 110 centuries in international cricket. I want him to play till the age of 45,” he said while speaking to Sportskeeda.
Akhtar urged the Indian batter not to be concerned about the current circumstances, claiming that the difficult times are preparing him for the great run ahead. “This tough situation is preparing you for 110 centuries. People are writing you off, tweeting against you. If you tweet about Diwali, you are criticised. People tweet about your wife and kid. When you lose the World Cup, you are heavily criticised. Things cannot get any worse. Just go out there, and show everyone who Virat Kohli is,” he said.
The Rawalpindi Express also lauded Indian great Sachin Tendulkar for taking care not to offend anyone with his remarks. The 46-year-old encouraged other critics to take a page from Tendulkar’s book.
“Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest and humblest guy ever. I really adore him when it comes to his behaviour and nature. He is always thoughtful about what he says and respects other cricketers. People should learn from Sachin Tendulkar. Despite being such a great cricketer, he doesn’t tweet or say anything that can hurt anyone. Similarly, other former cricketers should give mature statements,” Akhtar added.