Shoaib Akhtar: As a captain, Sachin Tendulkar was lost, Kohli is similar
Never short of controversies, unabashed former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar made another contentious remark against the captaincy of India legends Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. For Akhtar, the two Indian greats are geniuses with the bat but were quite "lost" as captains when it came to on-field decision-making.
Speaking to Pakistan-based 'Bol news', the Rawalpindi Express said even though the two Indian stars are greatest of batters in their own right, their captaincy skills left much to be desired in his view as he found them imprecise with their calls and not as deeply involved.
Tendulkar had two separate captaincy tenures for India at a tumultuous time in team's journey when it reeled from various domestic cricket shortages and found success, especially away from home, a strenuous task. Things had changed by the time Kohli took over, as India could field a battery of fast-bowlers and growing spinners, capable of taking 20 wickets irrespective of the conditions, and the team won consistently abroad.
Captaincy did impact Tendulkar psychologically, but not as much with the bat in hand. Ditto Kohli, who has on multiple instances expressed a sense of frustration in dealing with men in power and their egos during his captaincy days but never faced the consequences of leadership fatigue as a batter until the evening of his tenure.
Shoaib Akhtar on Tendulkar, Kohli's captaincy
Shoaib Akhtar, however, painted the two Indian legends with the same brush when it comes to their captaincy, calling them both "lost" as leaders on the park. The outspoken former quick cited Kohli's impressive men's T20 World Cup campaign in Australia after giving away Indian captaincy to stress home his point.
"See, I believe Sachin Tendulkar is the best batsman in the world. But as a captain, he was lost. He left the captaincy himself. I was talking to one of my friends about Virat Kohli, and we were discussing the same thing. He was lost, and when he works on his mind, he will perform. When his mind became free, he ruled the T20 World Cup," Akhtar said.
Akhtar continued to highlight Kohli's batting, praising the modern-day great for his contribution to India's success across formats. The former pacer was especially effusive in praise of the man's one-day feats for India.
"You also need to look that almost 40 centuries from Kohli came in run chases. Log kehte hain tum Virat ki bohot tareef karte ho, main kehta hu kaise naa karu? (People tell me that you praise Virat Kohli a lot. I just say, Why shouldn't I do that?) During one stage, India used to win because of Virat's hundreds," he added.