Former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir sees a lot of similarities between India skipper Virat Kohli and ex-Pakistan captain and now Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying both inspire their team-mates by leading from the front.
“If I look at Virat Kohli as a batsman and captain, yes, I can say he is similar to Imran in the manner that he also sets the example by doing something himself and than expects his team to also do the same,” Qadir said on GTV news channel.
He was asked about India coach Ravi Shastri’s recent statement that he saw many similarities between Kohli and Imran. The 63-year-old Qadir played 67 Tests and 104 ODIs, many of them under the captaincy of Imran. He has 236 Test wickets and 132 scalps from the ODIs.
“Both (Kohli and Imran) lead from the front. Kohli takes responsibility and performs and then expects other players to also perform,” Qadir said. “Imran has the personality and ability to get performance out of his players. Kohli is not yet there (at the level of Imran). But no doubt the Indian captain also leads by example by performing himself.”
Kohli, who is considered by many as the best batsman of this era, recently led India to their first ever Test series win in Australia. Under him, India also won the ODI series in New Zealand by 4-1 margin, their biggest ever across formats.
Qadir was, however, critical of the current Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani who has been nominated to the post by Imran himself in his capacity as patron-in-chief of the Board as prime minister.
“I want to congratulate the Pakistani people and the PCB that they have got a Buzdar plus in Ehsan Mani,” Qadir said, referring to the Punjab Chief Minister Buzdar who has become the butt of jokes in the media over his inability to clarify things and find solutions to problems.
Qadir claimed that Mani, like Buzdar, left many issues unresolved or questions unanswered whenever he faced the media. “I blame Mani for playing with Test cricket and destroying it in Pakistan. He has no concentration on this format of the game and similarly they are playing with the Quaid-e-Azam first class tournament in domestic cricket.”
Qadir, while backing the decision to retain suspended Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain for the World Cup, said Mani’s press conference on Tuesday to make the announcement had raised more questions than giving answers.
He pointed out that Mani and the Board had only few days back given statements to the effect that the captain for the World Cup would be decided after the Pakistan Super League and also that the skipper is appointed on series-by-series basis.
“What happened now all senior players had said Sarfaraz should be captain? But what happened to the old statements of the Board, why did not they announce it earlier when Sarfaraz returned from South Africa? What happened to the series to series formula?” he questioned.
“They created the uncertainty over the captaincy. Whenever Mani has spoken to the media he has created confusion, be it on the cricket committee or Wasim Akram status or Justice Qayyum report,” he signed off.