‘He is just a normal batsman’ – Junaid Khan’s first impression on Virat Kohli
The pacer also said that he was playing domestic cricket in Faisalabad before the series and had the momentum while going to India.
Updated - Jul 27, 2020 11:50 am
Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan spoke about how he dismissed Virat Kohli, arguably, the best batsman of world cricket, thrice in as many innings when the last time India and Pakistan played a bilateral series together in 2012-13. As Sachin Tendulkar announced his ODI retirement right before the series and senior batsmen failed to perform, a lot was expected from young Delhi lad. However, Kohli failed to deliver as he scored just 13 runs in three innings he played.
Virat, who was just 24 years old at that time, already became a big name then. Junaid Khan, the star of the series managed to get 8 wickets in the series on placid Indian tracks. Of course, the scalp of then Indian vice-captain was one to cherish for. The series was played during heavy winter days and Pakistani pacers troubled Indian batting lineup by getting a lot of help from the conditions. Junaid has bowled 24 balls to him till now and he has scored just 3 runs in total with losing his wicket thrice.
Remembering his supremacy, Junaid has said he knew Kohli was normal batsman after two balls. “The first ball I bowled to him was a wide but the next ball when I beat him, I thought ‘well, he’s just a normal batsman’. Virat jokingly told me ahead of the series that these are Indian pitches and that balls won’t move much here. I said ‘we’ll see, because I have plenty of momentum with me as well,” he told Cricingif.
Before that tour, I was playing domestic cricket: Junaid Khan
The pacer also said that he was playing domestic cricket in Faisalabad before the series and had the momentum while going to India. Junaid’s heroic performance led Pakistan to win the series by winning the first two matches of the 3-match series. Though India made a comeback to win the final game on a cold evening in Feroz Shah Kotla where they defended a mere total of 167. Earlier, two-match T20I series ended in a tie between the two Asian countries.
“Before that tour, I was playing domestic cricket in Faisalabad. I had bowled around 35-40 overs in each match so I had developed momentum heading into the series. I was making a comeback in the ODIs and when we were heading to India, I knew in my mind that this is my only chance to stage a strong comeback into the team. Secondly, I knew if I would perform well in India, I would need to take wickets,” he added.
The two countries only play each other in multinational events and haven’t played a bilateral series since then. The next match up was supposed to be in Asia Cup 2020, which is postponed to next year.