Shoaib Akhtar gives pinpoint advice to Hardik Pandya on managing Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma before their retirement

Shoaib Akhtar gives pinpoint advice to Hardik Pandya on managing Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

In the aftermath of India’s heart-wrenching defeat in the ICC World Cup 2023 final, the cricketing world is buzzing with speculations about the future of stalwarts Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. As questions loom over their potential participation in the T20 World Cup 2024 and ODI World Cup 2023, Pakistan’s legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar has stepped forward with valuable advice for the emerging leader, Hardik Pandya.

The clouds of uncertainty over Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s future

It is worth mentioning that Virat and Rohit will be approaching the age of 39 and 40 when the next ODI World Cup 2027 arrives, and there is a prevailing uncertainty surrounding their potential participation in the tournament. Meanwhile, their involvement in next year’s T20 World Cup is also in doubt, as neither of them has made appearances in T20Is since India’s departure from the 2022 T20 World Cup.

As Pandya gears up to captain India in the upcoming T20 World Cup, Akhtar’s counsel centred around managing the transitions and bidding a good farewell to two of India’s cricketing icons.

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Shoaib Akhtar’s advice to Hardik Pandya

Known for his fiery pace on the field, Akhtar offered a pinpoint perspective on the significance of respect in cricketing relationships while advising Pandya on managing the duo of Virat and Rohit. He emphasized that Pandya owes his place in the team to the faith and opportunities granted to him by these seasoned campaigners and should acknowledge the role that Virat and Rohit played in shaping his cricketing journey.

“I’m maybe putting pressure on Hardik Pandya through this, but he needs to give that respect to Rohit and Kohli. He is in the team because of them. The kind of favors he has got in the team from them should be repaid. And they are legends of Indian cricket, so they should be given due respect before they are let go,” Akhtar urged Pandya during an interaction with Zee News.

Akhtar’s MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar reference

Akhtar then further drew attention to the historical pattern of Indian cricket captains gracefully managing transitions in leadership. He pointed out instances like when Dhoni succeeded Tendulkar, Virat replaced Dhoni, and when Rohit took the reins from Virat by paying respects to their predecessors. His advice emphasized that the baton of leadership is passed down not just in terms of skill but also in terms of mutual respect.

“When Dhoni came, he gave respect to Sachin Tendulkar. When Virat came, he respected Dhoni. When Rohit replaced Virat, he also gave him respect. So, now it’s up to Hardik Pandya how he wants to send these two great players off. It’s up to him now to put his foot down. And he has to bid them goodbye respectfully. They deserve this respect,” asserted Akhtar.

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