Apart from class batting, the aspect of Virat Kohli that is highlighted quite often by fans and experts alike is his fitness and intensity on the field. Whether it’s a practice session or a World Cup knockout, whether India are on top or down and out, Kohli is always charged up and looking to pounce on every opportunity that the opposition is providing. Sometimes, he creates opportunities when nothing is happening with his energy and fielding. Former Pakistan captain’s Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Malik highlighted the same quality of Virat Kohli and lauded the right-hander for his fitness and energy.
Akram said Kohli could easily have gotten disheartened when he was removed as the ODI captain after he had decided to quit as the T20I captain following India’s disappointing show in the 2021 T20 World Cup. The legendary Pakistan pacer said there was no drop in Kohli’s intensity.
“Instead of making a face, I got dropped as a captain and blah blah blah. I will just stand quietly at short fine-leg but he said no I got dropped as a captain, fine! I will play as a batter and also be the best fielder in the Indian side,” Akram said on A Sports.
Akram’s former new-ball partner and another legendary Pakistani cricketer, Waqar Younis, who is on the same panel, said generally in Pakistan, a captain fails to keep his spot in the XI when the leadership duties are taken away.
“In Pakistan, you go home after you are dropped from captaincy. I don’t remember any player (from Pakistan) who has got dropped from captaincy and is making heads turn as a player,” he added.
Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who has played a lot of cricket against Kohli, lauded Kohli for always treating a T20 as a 40-over game instead of just thinking about his batting.
“This is something we’ve got to learn from Virat Kohli. Here in Pakistan, if you’ve scored runs, then people roam around with their collars up. There’s no harm in doing that but always be a team man whether you have scored runs or not. His quality is that he plays the entire 40 overs with the same intensity. You will always see Kohli trying to help out the team in the field. It doesn’t matter whether he has scored a hundred or has been dismissed for a zero,” he said.
Kohli is in stellar form. With 222 runs, he is the current leading run-scorer of T20 World Cup 2022. He has already scored three half-centuries in four matches and has also broken Mahela Jayawardene’s record for most runs in the history of the T20 World Cup.