Sourav Ganguly Shuts Down Former PAK Pacer Shoaib Akhtar's Radical Advice For Virat Kohli
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli may not be great friends, but they share a common goal: to lead Indian cricket to unmatched heights.
Ganguly did it as captain from 2000 to 2005, and Kohli did it from 2015 to 2021. Given their past, they may not agree, but Ganguly came out in favour of Kohli when Shoaib Akhtar made an interesting comment about Virat's future.
With Kohli ready to play his final 50-over World Cup, the former Pakistan speedster believes Virat should retire from both ODIs and T20Is to "prolong his Test career." In an interview with RevSportz, Akhtar stated that now that ODIs and T20s are over, Kohli can focus all of his attention and energy on Test cricket, which he can then play for many more years and break Sachin Tendulkar's record of 100 hundreds.
"After this World Cup, I don't think he should play any more 50-overs matches." Also, if you see him in T20s, he is exhausted. I believe he should play for at least six more years and break Sachin Tendulkar's record of 100 hundreds.
Kohli has the ability to smash the record. He should focus on Test cricket after this World Cup, and break this record," Akhtar stated on the show 'Backstage with Boria' on Thursday.
Later that evening, Ganguly delivered an utterly crushing response that made Akhtar shudder. The former India skipper saw no sense in Akhtar's assessment and encouraged Kohli to play as he pleased.
"Why? Virat Kohli should play any kind of cricket he likes. "Because he performs," Ganguly said on the sidelines of a Denver event where he was introduced as the 'Brand Face.'
Kohli's Test achievements have definitely elevated him to the level of a modern-day great. They don't, however, match the fury of his ODI achievements.
He currently has 8676 runs from 11 Tests, making him the fifth-highest run-scorer behind Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, and VVS Laxman. His record includes 29 centuries and a respectable average of 49.29. Kohli was even named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2018.
When it comes to one-day internationals, Kohli is the fifth most run-scorer, but this time he is up against luminaries Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, and Sanath Jayasuriya. However, given Kohli's current form, it is highly possible that he will soon exceed both Jayasuriya and Ponting.
His pursuit of this feat involves 532 and 806 runs, respectively. If Kohli maintains his present batting form, he will have reached these milestones by the end of the World Cup in 2023.
Ganguly's message to Team India critics
The Indian squad has taken a lot of pressure for their recent T20I series loss to the West Indies, their first bilateral series loss against the Caribbean team in 17 years. Hardik Pandya, who captains the T20I team, bore the brunt of the criticism for some questionable decisions he made throughout the five-match series.
Youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma emerged as significant positives, but were overshadowed by the series setback. In defence of Team India, Ganguly encouraged team management to give more opportunities to such young players and urged fans to rally behind their players ahead of the World Cup in 2023.
"Select your best players." He might be a left or right hander. India has some excellent left-handers who will find a place in the team. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, and Ishan Kishan are among the cast members. Then there's Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Hardik Pandya… it's a fantastic team.
After every game in India, there is an evaluation. They are a good team when they win and a horrible squad when they lose. That is something you must accept. It's all part of the game," remarked the former India skipper.