It was difficult to counter Fakhar Zaman, opines Virat Kohli

His 114-run knock must still be loitering around in the heads of all Indian fans and we really can't imagine what Bumrah is going through.

Fakhar Zaman
Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman holds the trophy as he celebrates with Pakistan players. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Anuraag Peesara

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The pressure of an ICC event final was getting on the Pakistan’s opener Fakhar Zaman and the tentativeness in his body language was pretty much palpable. Although Jasprit Bumrah did capitalise on his nervousness and got the better of him, TV replays suggested Bumrah had overstepped and Fakhar never looked back. He went on to score his first International hundred and what a time that was to get.

His 114-run knock must still be loitering around in the heads of all Indian fans and we really can’t imagine what Bumrah is going through. Indian skipper Virat Kohli said in the post-match press conference that Fakhar’s unconventional approach made it all the more difficult to materialise his plans on Sunday at the Kennington Oval.

He also lauded that Fakhar’s high-risk shots came off brilliantly well, which eventually worsened the scenario for the Indian contingent. Whilst talking about Fakhar’s innings, Kohli sounded very helpless and that was exactly what happened on the ground as well.

“When a guy like Azhar Ali, who is a conventional batsman, plays his shots, you can still have a plan. But for a guy like Zaman, it becomes really difficult to stop players like him, because I think 80 per cent of his shots were high- risk and they were all coming off. So you can only do so much, as I said, as a bowler and as a captain when that is happening,’ said Kohli.

A Knock that flabbergasted everyone!

Pakistan have dealt with many heartbreaking blows when it comes to playing India in ICC events. It seemed as though the story would repeat on Sunday but Fakhar’s innings, well supported by a mind-boggling spell of fast bowling from Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali saw Pakistan lift their first ICC Champions Trophy.

Zaman said that he admires the Kiwi legend Brendon McCullum a lot and he attempts to copy the latter’s belligerent approach. After the final on Sunday, people just got an idea as to why he admires Baz.

He didn’t go after the bowlers right from the outset and took some time to settle in. After he had completed his half-century, Indian spinners had a horrendous time dealing with Fakhar as he showed no mercy on them. The youngster indeed is a great prospect for Pakistani cricket and he should now try to play a few more knocks to consolidate his place as an opener in the next World Cup.