Virat Kohli refuses to make sensational news featuring him and Mohammad Amir
Kohli, on the other hand, will also be shouldering extra responsibilities while batting since India will not get the service of Shikhar Dhawan.
Updated - Jan 20, 2020 8:34 pm
India captain Virat Kohli will be leading his side against Pakistan after two years and the occasion is bigger than the last time; it is, in fact, the biggest. Kohli did not have a happy day the last time his team locked horns with the arch-rivals which was in the final of the Champions Trophy at Lord’s. India were crushed by 180 runs by Pakistan as Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side won its first big trophy since the 1992 World Cup.
On the eve of the big clash between the Asian powerhouses at Old Trafford on Sunday in the ICC World Cup 2019, the focus is particularly strong on Kohli’s possible duel with Pakistan spearhead Mohammad Amir. The left-arm seamer picked his first-ever five-wicket haul in the ODIs in the last game against Australia after a prolonged bad phase while Kohli hit 82 in the last match he batted for India, against the same Kangaroos.
However, Kohli is not ready to get dragged into talks over rivalry with Amir on the eve of the highly-awaited clash. The expectations over a Kohli-Amir clash are all the more since the bowler had emerged victorious in the final of the Champions Trophy when he had dismissed the Indian captain cheaply.
Speaking to the press in Manchester on Saturday, Kohli said he was not going to say anything sensational about the Pakistani fast bowler for “TRP or exciting news” and added that he is always willing to give respect to a good bowler’s skillset.
For Kohli, the focus is on the ball, not the bowler
“I am not going to say anything for different for TRPs or for exciting news. You have to respect every bowler’s strength. I just focus on the white ball or the red ball, regardless of the bowler. You have to respect a good bowler’s skillset. I said this even before the South Africa match about Kagiso Rabada,” he said.
Amir, who was not in a great form prior to the World Cup and even did not get a chance into the preliminary squad, has made a strong comeback to form in the World Cup. In three matches (one washed out), he has picked 10 wickets and the Pakistani fans will be looking up to him to continue from where he had left against Australia.
Kohli, on the other hand, will also be shouldering extra responsibilities while batting since India will not get the service of Shikhar Dhawan who got his thumb fractured in the previous match against Australia. India and Pakistan had played their World Cup match in 1999 also at Old Trafford and Mohammad Azharuddin’s men had beaten Wasim Akram’s side by 47 runs on that occasion.