Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar reckoned that the additional responsibilities in private life have an impact on one’s professional career and it was the same case with Virat Kohli.
Kohli recently relinquished captaincy in Tests and he is now a regular batter in all three formats. While Rohit Sharma has taken over in white-ball formats, India doesn’t have a suitable replacement yet for Tests. Speaking about Kohli, Akhtar said he would have just enjoyed his game if he was in Kohli’s place.
“Virat captained for 6-7 years and I was never in favour of his captaincy, I just wanted him to keep scoring 100-120 runs and keep the focus on his batting. I would have not even married if I were in his place.”
“I had just scored runs and enjoyed cricket, these 10-12 years of cricket are different times and doesn’t come again, I am not saying getting married is wrong but If you are playing for India, you would have enjoyed a time a little. fans are crazy about Kohli and he had to maintain that love he is getting for the last 20 years,” Akhtar told Dainik Jagran.
“Those years of Virat have passed” – Shoaib Akhtar
Although Kohli has failed to score a century in all formats for more than two years, he is still consistently putting up scores on the board. However, he is well past his prime as per Akhtar.
“Absolutely it does [the pressure of marriage, captaincy affect cricket]. There is pressure from the children, of the family. As the responsibility increases, so does the pressure. Cricketers have a short career span of 14-15 years in which you stay at the peak for five-six years. Those years of Virat have passed, now he has to struggle,” Akhtar added.
Kohli last scored a century back in November 2019 in a home Test against Bangladesh.