Virat Kohli was forced to quit India’s captaincy: Shoaib Akhtar

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar feels that Pakistan will again beat India in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup to be held in Australia later this year.

Former Pakistan cricketer also said that Virat Kohli was forced to leave the captaincy of India.

Last year, Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader as the selectors wanted one skipper for the white-ball format. Kohli then last week stepped down as India’s Test captain after leading the side for seven years.

Speaking to reporters on the sideline of the Legends League Cricket in Muscat, Oman, Akhtar said, “Virat didn’t leave captaincy but was forced to do so. This is not the best of times for him but he needs to prove what he is made of. Is he made of steel or iron? He is a great guy and a cricketer. Do not try too many things, just go out there and play cricket. He is a great batsman and has achieved more than anyone else in the world. He just needs to go out there and play with his natural flow.”

“He plays a lot with his bottom hand and I think when the form is out, bottom hand players usually are the first ones to get in trouble. I think he’s gonna come out of this. He should move forward from this and not keep any bitterness against anyone. Just forgive everybody and keep moving,” he added.

Akhtar who is currently participating in the Legends League Cricket, backed Rohit Sharma to be the Indian team’s next Test captain.

“I think Rohit Sharma would be the right choice for the time being. It’s good if he doesn’t succumb to this pressure,” he added.

The schedule for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 was announced on Friday. India will be locking horns with their arch-rivals Pakistan in their first match of the tournament on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

“We will beat India again in Melbourne. Pakistan is a better side than India in T20 cricket. It’s the Indian media that make unnecessary pressure on their team whenever we have the clash of both countries in cricket, it’s normal for India to lose,” said Akhtar.