During a recent online interaction, former Pakistani speedster, Shoaib Akhtar, has heaped praises on star Indian batsman Virat Kohli.
Akhtar rued the fact that a player of Kohli’s class did not get the opportunity of playing against the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shane Warne and others from the same era he played in.
Also, Akhtar predicted about Kohli enjoying playing against the lethal bowling attack of the by-gone era.
Then, Akhtar revealed his modus operandi in dismissing Virat Kohli. The former speedster claimed about being ‘best’ of friends with coming from a Punjabi background.
“We are both Punjabis with a big heart. We would have been best of friends off-field and fierce enemies on-field,” Akhtar said during a recent ESPNcricinfo Videocast.
Further, Akhtar detailed about his plans to perturb Kohli by getting into his head and making him play the cut shot or the pull shot. Akhtar affirmed that he does not have the shots in his arsenal.
“With Virat if you fight, he gets more focused. So to bowl him out, I would try to get him to lose focus. I would try to get into his head. At my extreme pace, I would have instigated him to pull me or play a cut because he doesn’t have these two shots.
Additionally, his plan ‘B’ would be making Kohli drive at an extreme pace, similar to the fifth stump line which James Anderson bowled during the former’s torrid England tour in 2014.
“I know he loves to drive, so again at my extreme pace, I would get him to drive and would have kept talking to him in between. Something like what (James) Anderson did to him in England,” he added.
During the conversation, the Rawalpindi Express even spilled beans regarding the toughest batsman he has bowled to in his career.
Akhtar stated that he could not dismiss Inzamam-ul-Haq throughout his career in the nets. Furthermore, Akhtar enlisted the batsmen who played him very well, namely, Martin Crowe, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis and Virender Sehwag.