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I would have not even married if I were in his place: Shoaib Akhtar on Virat Kohli's dip in form

New Delhi, January 23: Virat Kohli resigned as India captain after the Test series against South Africa and surprised all with his decision but according to former Pakistan cricketer, the talismanic batter shouldn't have taken up the role of skipper in the first place.

Akhtar, who is known as the Rawalpindi Express, also believes that if he were in Kohli's place, he wouldn't have married at the prime of his cricketing career for marriage brings a lot more pressure. Kohli tied the knot with Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma in 2017.

Speaking to leading Hindi daily, Dainik Jagran, Akhtar stated, "Virat captained for 6-7 years and I was never in favour of his captaincy, I just wanted him to keep scoring 100-120 runs and keep the focus on his batting."

The 46-year-old further added, "I would have not even married if I were in his place. I had just scored runs and enjoyed cricket, these 10-12 years of cricket are different time and doesn't come again, I am not saying getting married is wrong but If you are playing for India, you would have enjoyed a time a little. Fans are crazy about Kohli and he had to maintain that love he is getting for the last 20 years."

When asked if marriage and kids affect a cricketer's career, Akhtar claimed the added responsibility of wife and children tends to impact a player's mindset.

"Absolutely it does [the pressure of marriage, captaincy affect cricket]. There is pressure from the children, of the family. As the responsibility increases, so does the pressure. Cricketers have a short career span of 14-15 years in which you stay at the peak for five-six years. Those years of Virat have passed, now he has to struggle," he added further.

In the last two years, Kohli has looked a mere shadow of himself as the legendary batsman has struggled with the bat. The 33-year-old right-handed batsman last slammed his international ton in November 2019 and has been waiting for his 71st century ever since.

Kohli left limited-overs captaincy late last year and everyone believed the move is aimed at elongating his career for the added responsibility was impacting his performance.

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Story first published: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 20:53 [IST]
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