Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has revealed that he has a “cordial” relationship with India skipper Virat Kohli.
Afridi made it clear that despite the rift between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it doesn’t apply to him and Kohli.
“My relationship with Virat is not dictated by [the] political situation,” Afridi was quoted as saying by DNA India. “Virat is a fantastic human being and an ambassador of cricket for his country, just like I am for my country.
“He (Kohli) has always shown a lot of respect and has even gone out of his way to present a signed jersey for my foundation (Shahid Afridi Foundation).
“There is a lot of warmth and fellow-feeling whenever I have spoken to Virat. It’s not that we get a chance to speak a lot but from time to time, he would drop in a message and I would do the same. I congratulated him recently when I came to know the he was getting married.
“I believe as cricketers we can set examples of how relationship between individuals can be a template for relationship between countries. I think after Pakistan, the two countries where I have received most love and respect are India and Australia.”
In regards to Kohli’s style of captaincy, Afridi admitted that he is a big fan of the 29-year-old taking a more aggressive approach in all formats of the game.
“Virat is doing a brilliant job. I have no problem with aggression if it is a controlled one,” he said. “And Virat’s character is different from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was a composed individual.
“Now suddenly, you cannot change the inherent nature of a person. Virat’s greatest asset is that he can take the team along.”
When asked to compare Kohli with Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Afridi said: “Sarfraz is still new to the job and he will only get better along the way. The only thing I don’t like is that media running down players during their rough times.
“As long as you are winning, everything is fine and you lose a game and all hell breaks loose. That is grossly unfair. We should not overlook someone’s past achievements just because he is going through a bad patch.”