Shoaib Akhtar’s “Virat Kohli retirement theory”
received an extremely crushing response from Sourav Ganguly that would make the former Pakistani sprinter stutter.
Despite their lack of close friendship, Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli have the same objective: to elevate Indian cricket to new heights. Ganguly did it from 2000 to 2005 while serving as captain, while Kohli did it from 2015 to 2021. Given their past, they may not agree on everything, but Ganguly defended Kohli when Shoaib Akhtar said something intriguing about Virat’s future.
The former Pakistani speedster believes Virat should retire from both ODIs and T20Is to ‘prolong his Test career’ as Kohli prepares to participate in what is likely to be his final 50-over World Cup. After the ODIs and T20s are over, Akhtar stated in an interview with RevSportz that Kohli can focus all of his attention and energy on Test cricket, where he can play for many more years and surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 hundreds.
After this World Cup, I don’t believe he should play any more 50-over matches. If you watch him playing T20s, he is quite worn out. I believe he ought to continue playing for at least another six years and surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 hundreds. Kohli is capable of breaking the record. After the World Cup, he should concentrate on Test cricket and attempt to break this record, stated Akhtar on the Thursday episode of “Backstage with Boria.”
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Later that evening, Ganguly delivered a response so devastating it would have made Akhtar clam up. The former India captain disagreed with Akhtar’s analysis and encouraged Kohli to play whatever he wanted. “Why? Whatever kind of cricket Virat Kohli wants to play should be allowed. Because he performs,” Ganguly remarked in a mic-drop moment at a Denver event where he was introduced as the ‘Brand Face.’
Without a doubt, Kohli has put up stunning Test performances that place him in the company of contemporary greats. They fall short of the fury of his ODI successes, though. He currently ranks fifth among all-time run scorers with 8676 runs from 11 Test matches, trailing only Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, and VVS Laxman. His record features a noteworthy average of 49.29 and an amazing 29 centuries. Even the ICC Test Player of the Year title went to Kohli in 2018.
When it comes to ODIs, Kohli is once again the fifth-highest run scorer, but he is up against legends like Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting, and Sanath Jayasuriya who have scored more runs than him altogether. However, given Kohli’s current performance, it is highly possible that he will soon exceed both Jayasuriya and Ponting. He has to complete 532 and 806 runs in order to accomplish this achievement, respectively. By the end of the World Cup in 2023, Kohli will undoubtedly have achieved these milestones if he keeps up his present level of batting ability.
The Indian squad has taken a lot of heat for their recent T20I series loss to West Indies, which was their first loss in a bilateral series against the Caribbean team in 17 years. The T20I team’s captain, Hardik Pandya, took the brunt of criticism for some dubious choices he made during the five-match series. Young players Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma showed tremendous promise but were overshadowed by the surprising series loss. Coming to Team India’s defense, Ganguly encouraged the team’s management to give these young players more opportunities and pleaded with the supporters to support their players in the run-up to the 2023 World Cup.
“Select your top players. He might have a left or right hand. Outstanding left-handers from India will get a spot in the team. Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Tilak Varma. The team also includes Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Hardik Pandya. After every game, there is an appraisal in India. If they win, they are a good team; if they lose, they are a bad squad. You must put up with that. It’s inherent to the game, the former India captain continued.