Pakistan’s batting legend Zaheer Abbas is the latest entrant in the list of illustrious former cricketers, who feel that India’s premier batsman Virat Kohli is destined for greatness.
“Virat Kohli is one batsman who will break all the records in international cricket. The transition phase in Indian batting has already happened as they now have a set line-up.
The former Pakistan captain also expressed his satisfaction with Pakistan's up-and-coming batting talent.
“Pakistan also have talented bunch of batsmen. But we are in the process of rebuilding,” Zaheer, who is a batting consultant of the Pakistan team, told reporters after team’s training session here on Sunday.
The former Pakistan captain praised young opener Ahmed Shehzad.
“Ahmed Shehzad is a talented batsman and will mature into a good player in the coming years,” Zaheer remarked.
Asked about the India-Pakistan clash on Friday, Zaheer agreed that M.S. Dhoni’s comeback from injury certainly will make the Indians a stronger unit.
“During Asia Cup, Dhoni was not there and now he is back. So that will definitely make India stronger but we did beat a good Indian side. A lot of people thought that the Pakistan are not good chasers but during the Asia Cup, the boys showed what they are capable of. We have had two good run chases [India and Bangladesh],” the 67-year-old veteran of 78 Tests said.
For Zaheer, the best part about this current Pakistan team is its self-belief, which he finds very reassuring.
“What I love about these young boys in the Pakistan team is their confidence. Even in tense situations they would tell me, “Zaheer bhai, hum jeetenge”. I love this attitude,” the batting artist of 70s and 80s said.
Zaheer said cricket has changed a lot and one needs to embrace the changes in technique and approach of the players.
“I remember some years back during a match where I was watching it sitting beside Sunny [Sunil Gavaskar]. A batsman edged one and it flew past the slips for a boundary. Sunny laughed and said that during our days, the coaches would have told us to run five rounds of the ground as a punishment for not playing a proper cricketing shot. But now a boundary is a boundary and people love it. The bottom line is this is what the people want and they love this format [T20],” he explained.
He recalled how it all started in the late 70s with the ‘Packer revolution’.
“It was during our generation that coloured clothing and white balls were introduced along with black sightscreens. Kerry Packer got it. I played in England where we had 40-over per side games. So now we have T20 but during those days only, we had played limited games with reduced overs.”—Agencies