Exclusive: Virat Kohli reminds me of the great Imran Khan, says Asif Iqbal

Debasis Sen, London: The current Indian team led by Virat Kohli is the best ever team to have traveled to England feels former Pakistan cricketer and captain Asif Iqbal. According to Asif, “Even after watching the Indian team lose at Edgbaston, I strongly believed that this was the best Indian team ever to tour England.  In my opinion it was because the way they played. They have got seamers to bowl in these conditions and spinners who can turn things around and the batsmen to score the runs.  I think their fielding has been top class during the test series so far. They have got every departments covered.”

The former Pakistan cricketer who is now settled in Kent, the county which he played for is impressed with Virat’s batting in the series so far.

“I personally enjoy watching Virat bat in whatever format. He always plays proper cricketing shots in whatever format he is playing. He doesn’t play any innovative shots. He scores faster but does it without playing any rash shots. The other Indian cricketer who I enjoy watching bat is Rohit Sharma,” said Asif Iqbal in an exclusive chat to www.xtratime.in

The Indian captain has overtaken Steve Smith as the No. 1 test batsman in the world. Talking about Virat’s dominance with the bat, Asif feel, “I think Virat is rightly the No. 1 batsman in the world not just because he is scoring runs against England but the way he scores his runs. Look at the two centuries he scored specially the one at Edgbaston in trying conditions. If you look at the three test matches so far he is way ahead in terms of the leading run scorer from both sides.”

The former Pakistan captain who led his country to its first overseas victory is a huge fan of Virat’s captaincy. He even went on to compare Kohli with Imran Khan who led Pakistan to win the World Cup in 1992.

“I think you need players like Virat to draw people to the cricket grounds.  The most important thing is he is producing results. Imran Khan led from the front because he used to perform and demand commitment. I can see similarity between Virat and Imran because Virat also performs and because of that reason he can demand the respect from his teammates. Virat has all the qualities to make a successful captain.”

Pakistan have traditionally produced world class fast bowlers but the Indians are fast catching up in this department. The former Kent cricketer is very impressed with the current crop of fast bowers.

“I don’t know what kind of the wickets the domestic matches are played on in India these days but the current bunch of bowlers are all brilliant. It looks like India is producing wickets that encourage seamers. Indian bowlers in recent times have showed that if they have the conditions in their favour they can create havoc in opposition batting ranks like was the case in South Africa where they took 60 wickets.”

Lastly, he finds it strange to see legend like Sachin Tendulkar not featured in the list of 11 best batsman of all time.

“It is laughable. I don’t know who compiles such lists, as they should be bunch of jokers. It is baffling to see the world’s leading run scorer (Sachin Tendulkar)not present in that list. I don’t know what the criteria are or how they picked these players because some of the names featuring in that list does not deserve,” signs off Asif Iqbal.

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