Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has often heaped praise on Virat Kohli for his batting and leadership skills on many occasions but the bowling great believes he would have formed a great friendship with the India captain as both share a similar nature.

Although Akhtar mentioned that he would gel well with Kohli due to their aggressive approach, he feels the two would also enjoy a great rivalry on the cricket field, if he was still playing. However, Akhtar said he still holds huge respect for Kohli even though the latter is younger to him.

“Virat Kohli would have been best of my friends, because both of us are Punjabis and we have similar kind of nature, even though he is a lot junior to me, I really respect him,” Akhtar said on Espncricinfo while speaking to Sanjay Manjrekar.

“We would have been best of the friends but on the field, we would have been the best of the enemies,” Akhtar added.

Akhtar, who had backed Kohli to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 international centuries, had earlier revealed that he would loved to bowl against the Indian captain for more games but that he did not get the opportunity as he was in the twilight stages of his career. He tipped Kohli to play until the age of 44.

“It would have been great if I had played against him a bit more,” said Akhtar.

“Unfortunately he was too young towards the end of my career. He only faced one ball from me in Sri Lanka,” he added.