Shoaib Akhtar has been vocal about his praise for the Indian cricket team.(Getty Images)
Shoaib Akhtar has been vocal about his praise for the Indian cricket team.(Getty Images)

‘They’ve got Virat Kohli as captain, we’ve got average people on top’: Shoaib Akhtar on difference between India and Pakistan cricket teams

Shoaib Akhtar was asked about the criticism he receives from Pakistan cricket fans over his repeated praise for Indian cricketers and its captain Virat Kohli.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 04, 2020 08:09 AM IST

Pakistan fast bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar, in a recent interaction, explained how the thinking of India and Pakistan cricket teams have changed over the years. Akhtar was asked about the criticism he receives from Pakistan cricket fans over his repeated praise for Indian cricketers and its captain Virat Kohli.

Also Read | ‘Why shouldn’t I praise Virat Kohli’: Shoaib Akhtar dismisses criticism for praising Indian cricketers

In his response, Akhtar lauded Kohli as one of the best players in the world currently and said that Pakistan cricket fans should refer to stats if they have any doubts.

“I don’t know why people are angry, they should go look at the stats first before criticising me. Do they want to keep the hatred in mind, that just because he is an Indian, we will not praise him?” Akhtar said on the YouTube Show ‘Cricket Pakistan’.

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Akhtar also went on to talk about how the Indian team always brought the right people on top – unlike Pakistan – which helped them get an edge over their arch rivals. 

“Why do you always try to find faults, why don’t you try and be like them. There was a time when Indians wanted to be like Pakistan. Now, Pakistan want to be like Indians,” Akhtar said. “In late 90s, India would raise their hands that we don’t want to play in Sharjah against Pakistan.

“Our mindset was made to change by bringing average people on the top. They brought average people to be the captain of the team. Look at what India got - they made Virat Kohli the captain, an aggressive player. Who did we bring?” Akhtar added.

Akhtar was also questioned on reports whether he was approached to be the PCB CEO. In his response, Akhtar said: “Nobody has approached me for the role of chief selector.

“Be it me or any other person, the important thing as chief selector is the change in mindset –which we desperately need. That person and the head coach need to be on the same page for the betterment of the team.

“But I do know that the general public wants someone who thinks like me in charge of selecting players. A person who is straightforward and demands performances from the cricketers.”

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