Shoaib Akhtar, Virat Kohli
Shoaib Akhtar, Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)

Last Update on: March 21st, 2023 at 05:59 pm

Ex-Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels that if Virat Kohli played in the 1990s, he wouldn’t have as many hundreds as he has now.

Kohli is second in the all-time list of most centuries scored by a player in international cricket with 75. He is only behind Sachin Tendulkar, who has an incredible record of 100 international centuries.

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The Indian batting maestro recently ended his three-year hundred droughts in Test matches when he scored an impressive 186 in the final match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy against Australia. He has scored three centuries in 2023, which include the two he scored in three matches against Sri Lanka in January.

Akhtar feels that Virat wouldn’t have scored 75 international tons if he had played in the Pakistani pacer’s era. Shoaib believes that the game was not tiled in favour of the batsmen back in the day. He also said that he, along with his pace compatriots Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis would have sledged him much more.

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If I, Waqar (Younis) and Wasim bhai (Akram) would have been at our peak, then Virat ko mushkil bahut hoti (then Virat would have found it tough). We sledged a lot and being a Punjabi, he would have reacted. Hum usko tang bahut karte tha (we would have needled him a lot)… If he had played in our times, then he might not have had these 70-odd hundreds, he might have scored 30-50 hundred but those hundreds would have been of a different class,” he said.

The Rawalpindi Express went on to say that he and other Pakistani pacers felt that Sunil Gavaskar, who scored 34 international centuries, was the greatest of all.

Shoaib Akhtar urges Virat Kohli to play for 8-9 more years

Virat Kohli is still at the top of his game, as far as fitness is concerned, at the age of 34. While no one knows how many years of high-level cricket he still has in him, the idea of the former Indian captain retiring is not on many minds right now.

Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar urges Kohli to play for 8-9 more years and break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 centuries.

“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. (India will make you play in a wheelchair also) and they will make you reach 100-100’s. I feel he will score at least 110 hundreds by the time he retires,” said Akhtar

With 75 centuries in his 14-year-long career, if Virat Kohli knocks tons at a similar pace, he will match Tendulkar’s record in 5 years’ time. Although, nothing is ever as sure in cricket.

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