Sourav Ganguly gives mouth-shutting reply to Shoaib Akhtar

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Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli might not share the closest of friendships, but they both share a common aspiration: propelling Indian cricket to unprecedented heights. Ganguly achieved this during his captaincy from 2000 to 2005, while Kohli replicated the feat from 2015 to 2021. Although their history might have led to differences, Ganguly stood by Kohli when Shoaib Akhtar made an intriguing comment about Virat’s future.

With the upcoming 50-over World Cup potentially marking Kohli’s final appearance in the format, the former Pakistani speedster, Shoaib Akhtar, suggested that Virat should step away from both ODIs and T20Is to “extend his Test career.” Akhtar argued that by focusing solely on Test cricket after relinquishing ODIs and T20s, Kohli could prolong his playing years and potentially surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international centuries.

Akhtar expressed his view on the show ‘Backstage with Boria,’ stating, “I believe Kohli should refrain from playing more 50-over matches after this World Cup. Additionally, T20s seem to drain a lot of his energy. I envision him playing for at least six more years, breaking the 100-century record held by Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli possesses the ability to achieve this milestone, and concentrating on Test cricket could help him realize it.”

However, in a swift and impactful response, Sourav Ganguly countered Akhtar’s assessment. Ganguly didn’t find Akhtar’s logic compelling and threw his support behind Kohli’s autonomy in choosing the format he wishes to play. Ganguly asserted, “Why should Virat Kohli limit himself? He should play the format he desires, because his performances validate his choices.” Ganguly delivered this remark with a mic-drop moment on the sidelines of a Denver event, where he was introduced as the ‘Brand Face.’

Kohli’s Test achievements stand as a testament to his greatness in contemporary cricket. While his ODI accomplishments might overshadow his Test exploits, his Test records are commendable. As of now, Kohli has accumulated 8676 runs from 11 Test matches, ranking him fifth in terms of all-time Indian run-scorers, following legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, and VVS Laxman. His record boasts an impressive 29 centuries and a notable average of 49.29. In 2018, Kohli’s exceptional performance earned him the prestigious ICC Test Player of the Year award.

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