Weeks after his ouster as ODI captain, Kohli surprised everyone by relinquishing the captaincy from the longest format after a 1-2 series defeat against South Africa.
“I don’t know what (BCCI president) Sourav Ganguly and others think. But Indian cricket is definitely at a crossroads,” Akhtar told PTI on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket T20 tournament here.
Under stand-in captain KL Rahul, India also lost the ODI series in South Africa as the new coaching management led by Rahul Dravid suffered its first defeat in their first overseas tour.
“No, Indian cricket is not going down. You have to control the situation. Rahul Dravid has a big job to do.
“I hope people don’t say he’s an overrated coach. He has to prove it, and obviously he has big shoes to fill Ravi Shastri’s place. He has a big job. Let’s see how he performs.” Is. ”
India won the first Test but lost the next two as the victory in the Rainbow Nation was elusive for India.
Kohli was appointed Test captain in 2014 after taking over the reins from MS Dhoni and ended up as India’s most successful captain.
The 33-year-old decided to relinquish his T20 captaincy before taking over as ODI captain, sparking a rift between him and top BCCI officials.
Akhtar saw him coming after seeing the split in the Indian dressing room during the T20 World Cup.
“I knew he was coming. I was in Dubai at the time and I knew everything about him. I knew the whole scene and what was happening in the Indian dressing room from my friends in India.
“There were people against him. So I was not surprised by the decision to leave. This is not an easy task,” the Rawalpindi Express said.
“This is a test time for him. He (Kohli) has to come out stronger. He has to keep things simple, work harder and play his normal cricket.”
You have to change the fast bowlers, just like you change the tires
With players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jaspreet Bumrah, India have seen a golden age in their pace attack with some memorable wins in Australia, England and South Africa.
“They have made very healthy progress. Yes I am very impressed, hopefully more such fast bowlers will keep coming from the sub-continent and they will continue to perform.
Akhtar said, “I love everyone, I love Bumrah, Shami is great … It would be great fun if they also started developing attitude like Pakistanis.”
But like Ishant, Shami, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are in the final stages of their careers, they felt it was time to think beyond them.
“They are like the ‘wheels’ of the team. Of course, you have to change them just like you change the tires. They also need a little rest in between and you have to perform them.
“Cricket is very much these days. There is a lot of pressure on cricketers these days, especially on fast bowlers. There is a lot of pressure and the more they travel, the better,” he concluded.