Pakistan’s flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi says that Virat Kohli was “too emotional” as a leader and it will take him some time to fill in the captaincy void left by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement from Test cricket.
Afridi said he was a big fan of Kohli’s cricketing skills but he the Indian need to improve as a leader of the pack.
Kohli is set to lead the team in the final Test of the series against Australia, starting January 6 in Sydney.
“I felt disappointed to learn about Dhoni’s retirement decision because he is a fighting character and has been a great leader for Indian cricket. He has led many times from the front for them,” he said.
“Dhoni has changed the face of Indian cricket and took them to the pinnacle of success and his captaincy will be missed by the Indian team. He has led them well in all formats,” Afridi told a TV channel.
Ironically it was under Dhoni’s captaincy that India defeated Pakistan led by Afridi in the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup with the Indians going on to win the title.
Afridi, who is presently captain of the Pakistan T20 team, announced earlier this month that he would retire from One-day internationals after the World Cup.
He said that he had no intentions of changing his decision no matter how he performed in the World Cup.
“Even I if I have a great World Cup I will not take back my retirement decision because it is final and I took it after much thought. I have seen a lot of top players being forced to retire in not very pleasant circumstances and I don’t want that happening to me,” he added.
Afridi, who is a veteran of 389 One-day internationals said no one in the Pakistan Cricket Board had contacted him after he announced his decision to retire after the World Cup.
Ajmal’s career is not over: Muhammad Akram
He will surely miss the World Cup after being withdrawn from the squad but Saeed Ajmal’s career was not over says head coach of the national cricket academy Muhammad Akram as the suspended off-spinner could take a bio-mechanic test in two weeks time.
“He is a fighter and I can tell you his career is not over as yet. There is lot of cricket after the World Cup and I am confident he will make a comeback,” Akram said.
Akram, a former Test pacer, said that Ajmal was back to working with Saqlain Mushtaq on his bowling action and in present circumstances he could take the biomechanic test in two weeks time.
“Saeed is working very hard on his action but at this time what is more important is not whether and when Saeed clears the bowling action test but how effective he can be with his modified action,” Akram told reporters in Lahore.
Just last week it was confirmed that Saeed was withdrawn from the World Cup squad as he required more time to improve his bowling action.
PCB decided against sending him to Chennai last week for the unofficial test that Muhammad Hafeez has taken. Akram felt that Hafeez would be able to make it to the team for the World Cup.
“He will I think get cleared to bowl in the World Cup because he has removed chinks in his action and worked hard on it,” Akram said.