In an indoor practice session ahead of the upcoming India-Pakistan game, Virat Kohli and Co. prepared for the Mohammad Amir challenge with help from left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Amir will be one bowler that the batsmen will be wary of because of his vicious 3/18 spell in the Asia Cup.
Kohli got Ravindra Jadeja to bowl fast at the indoor nets session on Friday so that the Indian batsmen can get a taste of the ball being delivered fast as Indian prepared for the Pakistan pace battery and particularly, left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir.
Amir is a vital element of the Pakistan pace battery along with fellow left-arm pacers Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz. In the last 8 ODI matches he has played, Amir has scalped 13 wickets. Chances of him leading the attack will be strong because Riaz might miss out on Pakistan’s opener against India due to injury. Keeping in mind the threat Amir and the rest of the Pakistan fast bowling unit could possess if the weather is in their favour, Kohli and the team management ensured that the team was ready for the challenge.
Kohli thinks of Amir highly as he was seen quoting in a post-match presentation after the bowler's memorable spell at Asia Cup. "I would like to complement Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled. I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. It was so happy to play such an amazing spell. He is a world-class bowler," Kohli said.
Even though Amir picked up 1 wicket for 11 runs in a rain-affected match the last time the sub-continental rivals met at Eden Garden during the World T20, batsmen have a history of being troubled by left-arm pacers because of the angle they create coming over the wicket. And with the condition in England known to suit pacers, Amir, Riaz and Junaid can prove to be a threat for the batsmen. The move to get Jadeja to bowl left-arm pacers at the nets would have helped the Indian batsmen prepare for the challenge.
The move of preparing for left-arm pacers in not new in Kohli’s tenure as captain because Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler Aniket Choudhary prepares the Indian batsmen whenever the team is training for a series at home. In fact, Choudhary was a part of the training outfit before India’s last home series against Australia to prepare for the threat Mitchell Starc would pose.
On another note, despite the criticism Kohli is facing for his approach in dealing with the alleged rift between him and Anil Kumble, the preparation before his first ICC event as captain has earned him praise. “I was not there at practice, but let me tell you, these boys are professionals and know their job well. When it comes to the game, they are aware of how to switch on and switch off. They are solely focused on successfully defending the title. Off-field news doesn’t affect them,” said a BCCI official to Cricnext, dismissing any scope of conflict in the dressing room as India prepares to defend their Champions Trophy title.
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