'If Kohli chases this down they will vandalise my house' - Azhar Ali recalls his thoughts after dropping Virat Kohli during Champions Trophy 2017 Final
Pakistan defeated India by 180 runs to win the Champions Trophy in 2017.
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Virat Kohli is hailed as the master of run-chases in international cricket. The star batter has scored 22 of his 46 ODI hundreds in successful run chases for India, which is a world record. One team that the former India captain loves to play against is Pakistan as whenever he’s up against the arch-rivals he brings his ‘A game’ to the fore.
Kohli averages 48.72 against Pakistan in ODIs and a massive 81.33 in T20Is. However, the 34-year-old has also failed on a few occasions against his favourite opposition. The most famous of them being the Champions Trophy final of 2017 where he returned to the pavilion after scoring just 5 off 9 nine balls.
During his short stay at the crease, the chase master got a life on the eighth ball of his innings after getting dropped by Azhar Ali in the first slip. Recalling the incident, the former Pakistan cricketer recently revealed that he felt burdened with pressure as soon as he dropped India’s premier batter on the big stage. He further said that he began dreading the harsh criticism he thought he would get from the entire country if Kohli were to score big to take India home.
However, much to Ali’s good fortune, the then-Indian captain was dismissed on the very next ball as he got a leading edge against Mohammed Amir, which went straight to Shadab Khan at point.
"I saw it in reality. Between that drop catch and his dismissal, plenty of things flashed before my eyes. It felt as if I have been burdened with weight and pressure, and that the entire world is watching me asking as if 'Look what he's done'. That was my feeling and I thought 'God forbid, if he does what he is famous for... if he chases this down - he scores a lot in chases - my house will get vandalised'. Fortunately, I was just thinking about all these scenarios and he got out the next ball," Azhar said on 'Hasna Mana Hai'.
Fakhar Zaman had a dream that he got off a no-ball: Azhar Ali
Fakhar Zaman was the star with the bat for Pakistan during the game as he scored a magnificent 114 off 106 deliveries to help his side set up a monumental total of 338/4 in the first innings. However, the opener got a reprieve early on his innings as Jasprit Bumrah dismissed him on a no-ball. Revealing startling information about the incident, Ali said that Zaman had dreamt of the same incident a few days ahead of the final.
"When he came back after being given not out, he was laughing. He later shared that he had a dream that he got (out) off a no-ball. So, when a repeat of it happened in the final, I fist-pumped him," Azhar said.
The defending champions were bundled out for just 158 in pursuit of the target of 339 and were handed their heaviest defeat against the arch-rivals. Mohammed Amir was the wrecker-in-chief with the ball for the Sarfaraz Khan-led side who dismissed the famed top order of India which included Rohit Sharma, Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, and finished with figures of 3/16 in 6 overs.
Only Hardik Pandya showed some fight for India with his knock of 76 off 43 balls. However, his innings was cut short due to an unfortunate miscommunication with Ravindra Jadeja.
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