'Dekh lo World Cup tak. 30 centuries aur karni hai aage': Shoaib Akhtar's huge statement on Virat Kohli's T20I career
Shoaib Akhtar made a big remark on Virat Kohli's T20I career ahead of the blockbuster Super 4 clash between India and Pakistan in the 2022 Asia Cup.
Team India will return to action on September 4 when the side takes on Pakistan in a blockbuster Super 4 clash in 2022 Asia Cup Dubai. This will be the second meeting between both teams in the continental tournament after Rohit Sharma's side had registered a five-wicket win in a thrilling encounter against Pakistan last Sunday (August 28). The Asia Cup saw the return of India's star batter Virat Kohli in international colours – the 33-year-old batter was rested for India's last two limited-overs tours to West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Kohli has been among the runs even if he hasn't reached the levels of his prime in the opening two matches of the Asia Cup – he scored a steady 35 against Pakistan and remained unbeaten on 59 off 41 deliveries in the game against Hong Kong, forging a 98-run stand alongside Suryakumar Yadav as well. However, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes that Kohli might want to give up one format (T20I) of the game if the batter wants to chase the 100 international century record – currently held by India great Sachin Tendulkar.
“Virat Kohli hasn't been middling the ball really well. Both innings were quite patchy. He scored 59, I wish him best. Mera ye hi mashwara hoga Kohli ko ki dekh lo World Cup tak (My only suggestion to Kohli is to just wait till the T20 World Cup), if this format suits your or doesn't suit you. 30 centuries karni hain aur aage (you have to score 30 more centuries),” Akhtar said on his official YouTube channel ahead of the game between India and Pakistan.
Kohli currently has 70 international centuries to his name, but hasn't been able to breach the three-figure mark since November 2019.
“You can become the greatest player forever. You have to convince yourself that you are the greatest ever. This is going to be the hardest 30 centuries -- if he scores. When he goes to the longet formats, he will get time to settle. Here, he is trying but the time is less, you have to maintain a good strike-rate, you have to ensure the team wins. He is positive, he is aggressive.. he is a great player, but I really want him to score a 100 centuries and break Sachin Tendulkar's record. It looks impossible right now, but this man can do it,” Akhtar further said.