Akram has hailed the Indian batting star for his consistency in all three formats of the game.
Legendary fast bowler and the former captain of Pakistan, Wasim Akram has rated the India’s star batsman Virat Kohli as the best in the world. The left-arm pacer also said that he would have found it extremely difficult to bowl to Virat who has been in tremendous form in recent years. Akram reckoned Kohli is at that phase of his career where batsmen learn to score runs in every situation.
“Kohli is the best batsman in the world. There comes a time in a batsman’s life, where you learn how to score runs. He plays with authority in all three formats. It’s difficult to bowl at him. I would have found it very difficult to bowl at him,” Akram told Sports Today.
Kohli slammed 381 runs in the 5-match ODI series against Australia before scoring 199 runs from 3 innings against them in the T20I series. He was rested for the series against Sri Lanka at home but turned up all guns blazing in the Asia Cup T20 and finished with 153 runs from four innings, including a classy 49 against Pakistan’s on a green pitch in Dhaka. Akram though refused to label India as favourites for the ICC World Twenty20 but said they were ahead of other contenders because of the sheer experience in their team.
“These guys have been playing the IPL for eight years. India have been playing very well and they have some of the most experienced T20 players in the world. Hardik Pandya is batting well and bowling with a lot of pace. Someone like Ajinkya Rahane is sitting on the bench. They bat till about eight or nine and have some five to six bowlers. So, India have a good variety but it’s difficult to predict winners in the T20 format.”
Akram picked India, Australia, South Africa and England as the possible top four contenders. But he did not count out Pakistan, even though they have struggled to impress in recent times.
“I have toured Bangladesh plenty of times and the pitches were unbelievable. I felt like coming out of retirement. The conditions will be different in India and hopefully the pitches will be flatter. I don’t have any problems with our bowling but if our batting clicks, we would be in business,” he said.
Akram also blamed the team selection behind the debacle in the Asia Cup.
“Pakistan struggled in the Asia Cup and there was some problem with the team selection. The team should have been selected after the Pakistan Super League. We dropped Ahmed Shehzad after having invested on him for years,” Akram said.
Akram said Pakistan were a dangerous side on their day but urged the players to be more consistent.
“Pakistan are unpredictable. I’d be scared of Pakistan if I were playing against them. That’s the beauty of Pakistani cricket but they need to be consistent. They are going to give it a go but they need backing from the whole country,” he said.