After Virat Kohli’s public admiration for Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, the pacer has returned thr compliment by stating the Indian skipper is the best batsman in the world and is the biggest challenge for any bowler. Earlier, Kohli had stated Amir as one of the top bowlers he has faced in his career.
Cricket’s history has been littered with examples of bowler-batsman rivalries that always brought the best out of each other. Like Sachin Tendulkar-Shane Warne, Sourav Ganguly- Muthaiah Muralitharan, Tendulkar- Glen McGrath and more, it is now Virat Kohli and Mohammad Amir who can be the next big thing. And their mutual admiration for each other will make it all the more pleasant to watch when they face off next.
After Kohli revealed on air that Amir has been one of the best bowlers he has faced in his career, Amir accepted that he was floored by Kohli’s praise about him. Stating him as the best batsman in the world, Amir said, “You have to give your best against him. If you give him a chance he takes away the game like he did in the Dhaka Asia Cup game.”
Kohli’s real test against the Pakistani bowling sensation started back in the 2016 Asia Cup when Amir was in the third month of his return from a five-year spot fixing ban. However, with India chasing a meagre target of 84 runs, Amir couldn’t prove to be that lethal against Kohli despite dismissing Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina early in the game.
Though Kohli helped India chase it with an unbeaten 49-run knock, Amir’s bowling spell impressed him very much and he had presented his bat to the Punjab-born player during the Kolkata game. Their paths have hardly crossed since then with Amir getting one back in the ICC Champion Trophy final when he single-handedly demolished India as Pakistan won the game by 180 runs.
However, things aren’t over between them and it seems they have highly relished their rare face-offs so far. Amir, who is nursing a shin injury and eyeing a return in the T20 International series against Sri Lanka, was speaking to Wisden India, when he said, “He has the best strike rate and average while chasing so he is also the biggest challenge for bowlers around the world. You become a better bowler when you bowl well against a batsman like Kohli.”
Earlier Kohli in a television interview had stated Amir as an 'outstanding bowler'. He had said, "I would like to complement Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled. I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. I was so happy to play such an amazing spell. He is a world-class bowler.”
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