Kohli becoming a ‘wall’ just like Tendulkar: Afridi


Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Friday compared batting maestro Virat Kohli with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, saying he has now become the wall of the Indian cricket team, winning match after match with his bat.

Kohli has been in golden touch in the ongoing World Twenty20, playing match-winning knocks against Pakistan and Bangladesh under trying situations and Afridi was all praise for the Delhi batsman.

“Virat Kohli is becoming like a wall in the Indian team. Earlier, it used to be Sachin Tendulkar who won matches for India and now it is Kohli who is playing that role,” Afridi said after Pakistan lost to Australia by 21 runs to crash out of the World Twenty20.

Talking about today’s match, Afridi conceded that Pakistan were simply not good enough against the Australians.

“Honestly, we were not good enough. We had problems in batting. Our bowlers were doing well but in the last four overs, we gave away 40 runs. That is not good bowling and we cannot do that against a team like Australia,” he said.

Australian captain Steve Smith said that his side played the best match of the tournament so far.

“It all came together. We have not played to potential in the (first) two games. Today was quite a clinical performance. I hope we keep on playing like this, playing our best in the next three matches if we want to win the trophy,” he said.

“I thought (David) Warner was hitting well. He needed to face more balls. Finchy (Aaron Finch) looked good for a start. (Adam) Zampa has bowled beautifully. He reads the batsmen well, and is really smart, which is great for Australia,” he added.

Asked about any thoughts regarding the virtual quarter-final match against India on Sunday, Smith simply said that India are a world class side.

“India are a world class side and will be tough to beat. But we will think about the match later. T20 cricket takes a lot out of the players. Tomorrow will be about resting; we will be back in two days.”

Man of the Match James Faulkner, for his bowling figures of 5/27, said he was lucky to have got the fifer.

“I was lucky there at the end. More importantly, we are back on track. We have played well all summer back home. We showed what we can do with the bat,” he said.

“Looking forward to the next game against India, who are a tough opponent at home. We should be up for the challenge.”