Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar recently commented that Virat Kohli, the former India cricket captain and star batsman, would not have scored as many centuries if he had played in Akhtar’s era, as the balance of the game was not tilted as much in the batsman’s favour as it is today. Kohli has scored 75 centuries across formats and 46 in One-day Internationals. Akhtar believes that less field restrictions and one ball per ODI innings, instead of two, would have made run-scoring tougher for Kohli. Akhtar also feels that Kohli can play for almost another decade and that he could break Sachin Tendulkar’s 100-century record across formats.
Virat Kohli: A Modern-Day Legend
Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, believes that the legendary Indian batsman, Virat Kohli, would not have scored as many centuries as he has currently, across formats and in One-day Internationals, if he had played in Akhtar’s era. Akhtar attributes this to the fact that the balance of the game was not tilted as much in the batsman’s favour as it is today.
Less Field Restrictions and One Ball Per ODI Inning
According to Akhtar, if Kohli had played during the 90s, he would not have got as many hundreds because only one white ball was used during an ODI inning, and the rules on the number of fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle were different. When just one white ball was used during an ODI inning, it used to get softer and discoloured during the final phase, making it difficult to hit and also sight. Akhtar feels that if the game had less field restrictions and one ball per ODI inning, run-scoring would have been tougher for Kohli.
Kohli: A Player for the Ages
Despite Akhtar’s comments, he still believes that Kohli can play for almost another decade and that he could break Sachin Tendulkar’s 100-century record across formats. Akhtar said, “I appeal to Virat to play till the age of 43 years, you have eight or nine years more. India aapko wheelchair mein bhi khilayega and they will make you reach 100-100’s.” This indicates that Kohli is considered one of the modern-day legends of cricket.
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