Mohammed Amir has revealed that he felt his heart sink when Azhar Ali dropped Virat Kohli's catch in the Champions Trophy final because Kohli doesn’t give second chances to anyone. The Pakistan pacer has also added that picking Kohli’s wicket meant that Pakistan were halfway to securing the title.
Amir and Kohli’s mutual admiration is well documented and the Indian skipper has been a blatant fan of the former’s ability to swing the ball late while bowling at high speeds. Their battle has been a topsy-turvy ride with Kohli getting the better of Amir in the Asia Cup T20 and T20 World Cup while Amir earned the bragging rights in the 2017 Champions Trophy final in England. When the Indian skipper got a faint edge on a ball outside the off-stump, Azhar dropped a dolly in the slips. However, a determined Amir did not let frustration get the better of him and came back to dismiss Kohli off the very next ball. But the Pakistan pacer has revealed that he had almost lost hope of Pakistan winning the game after Kohli was dropped by Azhar Ali off the third ball of the third over.
“When Kohli was dropped, I thought half the game was
“I remembered Fakhar [Zaman] and how he had been out on a no-ball and had then scored a hundred. That kind of thing happens when you are walking back, it came to me immediately and I thought I hope this doesn’t happen to us now.”
Speaking about the very next ball when Amir finally dismissed Kohli, the bowler said, “In my mind, I thought he’ll be ready for my inswinger because the previous ball had been an outswinger. So I thought, 80-90% he would be ready for an inswinger. But I wanted to bowl at him in the same area, and move it away again. If you look at the clips of it, you can see he shaped to play it to leg, he moved to play it to on [side], thinking I was going to bring it in. My thinking was that if I bowl again in the same area, the same ball going away, he might go to play it thinking it is coming in, and edge it to slip again, but it went with the angle to point.”
Last month Kohli revealed that Amir has been one of the best bowlers he has faced in his career, and Amir accepted the compliment by saying he was floored by Kohli’s praise. Amir again reiterated his admiration for the Indian skipper by stating that picking Kohli’s wicket meant that half the job was done.
“Everybody knows if you get Kohli, India is 50% out of the game. Till he is at the crease, India’s chances of winning are 70-80%. If you look at his chasing ratio, he is at the top of the world. He chases well, he performs well under pressure. So our plan was to get their top order – [Shikhar] Dhawan, [Rohit] Sharma, Kohli, the guys who were scoring the runs in the tournament. My plan was that I didn’t want to save runs, I wanted to take wickets. If we could get one or two from the top, we could win the match,” he said.