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Had I played against him he wouldn’t have scored so many runs: Shoaib Akhtar on Virat Kohli

Akhtar reacted to Kohli's old claim in which he revealed that he never faced the Pakistani speedster but saw him in a game in Dambulla against Pakistan.

Saurabh Ganguly Editor

Updated - 18 April 2022 4:01 pm

Virat Kohli is widely regarded as one of the finest batters in modern-day cricket. The former India captain’s records speak for himself and he was quite deservingly awarded the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Decade award for his exemplary performance across formats during the period between 2010 and 2019.

Kohli already has 70 international hundreds to his credit and while he is backed by many to go past Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international tons, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels that had Kohli played against him, he wouldn’t have scored as many runs or centuries.

Akhtar reacted to Kohli’s old claim in which he revealed that he never faced the Pakistani speedster but saw him in a game in Dambulla against Pakistan.

“I got out, (so) I couldn’t face him. But I saw him bowl and he looked very lethal even at the later stages of his career. At that time, I felt (that) batsmen would not have wanted to face him when he was at his peak,” Kohli had said while speaking on Breakfast with Champions.

Responding to this old remark from Kohli, Akhtar said:”Virat Kohli is a good person and a big cricketer and you only expect big words from big players. And I thank him a lot for that. But, if I would have played against Virat Kohli then he would not have scored these many runs but whatever he would have scored those would have been fabulous and it would look that he really fought hard for those runs.”

Akhtar made this remark while discussing an IPL match. “He may not have had 50 centuries. 20 or 25 may at the most but those would have been valiant hundreds. I would have gotten the best out of Virat Kohli,” he added.

Having said that, Kohli has been in the middle of a lean patch recently. The right-handed batter hasn’t breached the triple figures mark since 2019 and Kohli fans are hoping he regains his prime form in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore and later replicates that in international cricket.

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