It is not unknown that India and Pakistan are arch-rivals – be it on the cricket field or off. Now Shoaib Akhter has echoed the same in his recent interview. He said that Virat Kohli would have been a fierce enemy on the field but they would have friends off it if they had played in the same time.
"We are both Punjabis and he seems like a guy with a big heart. We would have been best of friends off-field but fierce enemies on-field," Shoaib Akhtar told ESPNcricinfo before explaining his views over bowling at India captain Virat Kohli.
He further added, "With Virat if you fight, he gets more focused. So to bowl him out I would try to get him to lose focus. I would try to get into his head. At my extreme pace, I would have instigated him to pull me or play a cut because he doesn’t have these two shots. I know he loves to drive, so again at my extreme pace I would get him to drive and would have kept talking to him in between. Something like what Anderson did to him in England."
However, he faced another swashbuckling India opener in his era and that is none other than Virender Sehwag. He recalled an incident where he bowled the opener short while he should have bowled the ball that’s going away from the batsman. Although later he figured out that Sehwag could not score much against me. He even shared that he bowled him out on several occasions which also included the cash-rich Indian Premier League and in Lahore in 2006 as well.
Shoaib Akhar is considered as one of the fastest bowlers of the game anyone have ever seen, but he said that he was the slowest among the Pakistan pacers when he started playing for the national team. However, the former pacer said that he was able to learn all the best qualities from them to reach the top.
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