ICC T20 World Cup 2022: Why does Shoaib Akhtar want Virat Kohli to retire from T20Is?
Virat Kohli is back to being his best, as he helped Team India triumph against Pakistan in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar feels that Kohli should retire from T20Is, and here's why.
Legendary former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar "wants" Virat Kohli to retire from Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), as he discerns that the Indian batting maestro should not waste his "entire energy" in the shortest format. He feels that Kohli should save it and distribute it in the premiere two formats, i.e. Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Akhtar celebrated Kohli following his unbeaten 82 versus arch-rival Pakistan in Sunday's ICC T20 World Cup 2022 game that assisted India in clinching a rousing four-wicket conquest at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
"He [Kohli] played the most remarkable innings of his life against Pakistan. He played like this because he had the self-belief that he would do it. He is back with a bang. I want him to retire from T20I because I don't want that he puts his entire energy into T20I cricket. With similar commitment like today, he can score three centuries in ODIs," Akhtar articulated on his YouTube channel.
Kohli single-handedly powered India to win after his side was staring down the barrel at a stage in the competition's most-anticipated tie. Akhtar recognised the criticism that Kohli was subjected to during his protracted lean patch with the bat lately. "He was down and out for three years, he didn't score runs, he was stripped of his captaincy, and many people said many things to him," he remembered.
"People even dragged his family into it, but he [Kohli] kept training and put in the graft, and just a day before Diwali, he played a firecracker on an innings. He decided that this place and this stage were perfect for his comeback. The king is back, and he is back with a bang, and I am happy for him. He is a great cricketer," concluded Akhtar.
(With inputs from PTI)