70 tons is no small feat, don't understand how could people think about dropping Virat Kohli: Shoaib Akhtar

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jul 16, 2022, 08:04 PM IST


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Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has slammed Virat Kohli's critics and backed the former Indian captain to roar back to form soon.

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has slammed Virat Kohli's critics and come out in defence of the senior India batter amid criticism from all corners over his poor form. Kohli has been facing the heat from fans, experts and former cricketers as he continues to struggle to deliver for the Indian team across all formats of the game. Kohli has been enduring a lean patch with the willow for a while now.

His last century in international cricket came over 900 days ago in November 2019. He has since failed to breach the triple-figure mark in any format of the game and has been stuck on 70 centuries in international cricket. Kohli was enjoying incredible consistency and was breaking records for fun at one point in his career but his form has dipped sharply over the last couple of years.

After an average campaign in IPL 2022, Kohli made his comeback for the Indian team in their ongoing tour of England and has failed to spark a turnaround. He has so far managed a shambolic 59 runs in his last 5 innings for India against England in what has been a disastrous tour for him with several former cricketers and experts questioning his spot in India's T20I team.

However, Kohi has found support from Akhtar, who believes the Indian star is one of the greatest players in the present era and has been one of the best batters in the world in the last ten years. Highlighting his 70 international centuries, Akhtar said it's no small feat and not everyone has the right to criticise Kohli.

"I am hearing a lot of criticism surrounding Virat Kohli. People are telling me that Kohli is over, he won't be able to do anything, and I tell them that Kohli is the greatest player in the world over the last 10 years. Now in the last 1-2 years, where apparently he has not been good enough, it is not like he has not scored runs," Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel.

"I don't understand how people could even think about the prospect of dropping Kohli. I respect Kapil Dev, and it is his opinion, he is a legend so he can say it, but no one else can say it. As a Pakistani, I support Kohli because scoring 70 hundreds is no small feat, only a great player can do this," he added.

Kohli has so far played 15 matches for India in 2022 and has scored 459 runs at an average of 25.50 across all three formats without a single century. He has 220 runs in 4 Tests, 158 runs in 7 ODIs and 81 runs in 4 T20Is for India so far this year. Kohli will be hoping to end the England tour on a high when India lock horns with the hosts in the final 3rd ODI on Sunday (July 17).