Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan cricketer and a well-established veteran, was present at the Ice Cricket event in St. Moritz, but apart from having fun in ice, Akram was also busy in the adulation of India captain Virat Kohli. The 51-year-old said that Kohli was the best batsmen in world cricket currently, without a shadow of doubt. He added that Kohli would be the leading cricket personality in the years to come with Sachin Tendulkar retired and MS Dhoni playing his final cricket years.
A host of cricketing legends from recent past have got together in St. Moritz, Switzerland to take part in an ice cricket challenge. Having so many great cricketing minds at one place always gives rise to various opinions and discussion. However, there is one topic on which most of these great players are in agreement about and that is Virat Kohli.
Former Australian cricketer, Mike Hussey believes that Kohli is currently the best batsman in the world, above the likes of Steven Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root. Rather than the records and the numbers, it is Indian captain’s consistency across the formats that has impressed the 42-year-old.
Wasim Akram, who is a mentor and a commentator at the ice cricket challenge spoke at the press interaction prior to the 1st match and was full praise for Indian cricket and captain Virat Kohli.
Wasim Akram impressed by Indian cricket
Wasim Akram is hugely impressed with how Indian cricket has dominated world cricket in the last few years, and not only the senior men’s team but also the India A team, India U19 and the Indian women’s team. According to Wasim Akram, this phase of Indian cricket has come after years of hard work by the players and the BCCI, who have given youngsters the self-confidence to go out and perform to their best of abilities.
Virat Kohli’s captaincy came at a perfect time
When questioned about Virat Kohli, Wasim Akram was quick to admit that with Sachin Tendulkar out of the game and MS Dhoni in the twilight zone of his career, the stage is set for Virat Kohli to dominate world cricket for next few years. He admits, that the decision to hand over the captaincy to Kohli couldn’t have been made at a better time.
What impressed Wasim Akram the most about the Indian captain was his ability to lead from the front and his temperament while chasing down targets, a trait which makes him the best batsman for the cricket stalwart. The former Pakistan fast-bowler agrees that there are 3-4 top players in the world right now but the name the youngsters know and remember is of Virat Kohli.
“Whether you look at his fitness or fielding, he is a complete player on and off the field. Sachin is gone, Dhoni is still around but now it is Kohli’s turn,” said Wasim Akram.
Speaking about Virat Kohli’s captaincy, Wasim Akram was of the opinion that no one is a born leader, rather leadership is something a player learns with more and more experience. Captains need to develop a mechanism to handle pressure and understand the different abilities of their players.
Wasim Akram was quick to point out the partnership of Virat Kohli and India head-coach Ravi Shastri, who he believes shares a similar mindset to the captain. Akram believes coach Shastri is excellent at pushing his players at the right time and giving them a rest when the need arises, a thought process that he clearly shares with Kohli.
Wasim Akram praises India fast bowlers
During his interaction, Akram also took time to praise the Indian fast bowlers, who have been excellent on India’s current tour to South Africa. He is hugely impressed with Jasprit Bumrah, who was seen as a limited over specialist but has now made a place for himself in the test team. The legendary seamer had a few words of advise for the youngster, prompting him to bowl just straight deliveries from wide of the crease in order to find the edge of the bat.