Shoaib Akhtar praises Virat Kohli. Admitting that he was fortunate to not face the Pakistani speedster at his peak, Indian captain Virat Kohli has hailed Shoaib Akhtar’s propensity to intimidate opposition batsmen with unbridled pace. In his official Twitter account, the former fast bowler responded to the star batsman’s lavish praise by declaring that he was the one who was fortunate to not square off against the dynamic 29-year old.Shoaib Akhtar tweeted, “I was better off not bowling at all when #Kohli was batting. Jokes apart,he’s a gr8 batsman & bowling agnst him wud have been a gr8 contest.”Later during a television show, the pacer enthused, “Virat Kohli is a great batsman and is a brilliant achiever. I have come across a number of Indian players and had a very friendly relationship with Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag. So it’s mutual admiration.” Both Akhtar and Kohli played in the same match on only one occasion. During the fourth match of the 2010 Asia Cup at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, India successfully chased down Pakistan’s target in a thrilling encounter. Coming into the crease after Akhtar had completed his first spell, Kohli was dismissed by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for a 27-ball 18 and hence did not face the Pakistani pacer.
Widely regarded as one of the quickest bowlers to ever play the game, Akhtar ambushed numerous batsmen across the globe with his sheer pace. A slew of injuries prevented him from reaching his promised potential. Nevertheless, the speedster battled hard against his body and managed to pick up more than 400 international wickets across all three formats. Apart from expressing his admiration for Akhtar who in turn asserted that their face-off would have made for a great contest, Kohli also exuded his commendation for Mohammad Irfan. Pointing to the left-arm pacer’s astronomical height, the right-hander affirmed that he had found the Pakistani bowler’s extra bounce to be a difficult challenge.
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