Virat Kohli’s popularity has truly transcended borders, captivating fans on both sides of the border. Even in Pakistan, his star-studded presence has garnered admirers, and it’s no longer a mystery to see Kohli with a larger fanbase in Pakistan compared to their own cricket captain, Babar Azam. This fact was highlighted by a viral fan comment last Saturday. Given his enormous following, it comes as no surprise to witness Kohli dominating television screens. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has consistently emphasized the concept of player worship, consistently placing Kohli at the forefront of that discussion. But this is because Kohli possesses the star power to draw people in wherever he makes an appearance, whether it be on the field, on TV, or at any other event.
Kohli’s immense popularity has consistently been a topic of conversation among former cricketers turned commentators. While most of them are more than happy to discuss Kohli, excessive focus on Virat during these discussions has irked the legendary Wasim Akram previously. On Sunday, as India and Pakistan prepared for another intense clash in their historic rivalry during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup, Akram shared his perspective just moments before the two captains gathered for the coin toss.
“Today I walked past him and told Virat Kohli that you come in my dreams now. He replied saying ‘what do you mean Wasim bhai?’ I told him it’s because I see so much of you on the television screen. I just can’t get him out of my mind,” Akram said while speaking to the host broadcaster.
That being said, Akram did acknowledge Kohli’s greatness while also offering special praise for players like Shaheen Afridi and Babar. He emphasized that these modern-day greats have the confidence to excel on the grandest stages, especially when it’s an India vs Pakistan showdown, where the stakes couldn’t be higher.
“Virat, Babar, Shaheen, and all these match winners, they play this game for these moments – India vs Pakistan. I mean, for Pakistan, everybody wants to perform and vice-versa. This is just make or break. Not for guys like Virat Kohli and Babar Azam, but for young guys. These games are fun. Yesterday, the whole of Colombo was buzzing,” added Akram.