Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif opined that Virat Kohli played magnificent knock against Pakistan in last year’s T20 World Cup at the MCG still continues to linger in the minds of the Pakistani bowlers.
Kaif also fired an open warning to the arch-rivals ahead of the Asia Cup 2023 clash, saying that the Pakistani bowlers need to be wary of the “very dangerous” Virat Kohli in the upcoming encounter.
Virat Kohli played one of the greatest-ever T20 innings last year, scoring 82* off 53 balls, turning the match on its head with consecutive sixes to Haris Rauf in the 19th over.
Hailing the “chase master”, Mohammad Kaif said on Star Sports: “Kohli’s performance in Australia at the T20 World Cup, against Pakistan, he played magnificently. And he is a brilliant batsman when it comes to playing against Pakistan. He takes full responsibility and is a chase master. The form that he had in that World Cup was because of his performances in the Asia Cup (2022), starting from that century he hit against Afghanistan.”
“Those memories will still linger in the minds of the Pakistani bowlers. They will be wary of Kohli and know what a big wicket he is. They will know that if they get him out, the match becomes a lot easier. But the form he is in, the pressure will always be on the bowlers,” Kaif said.
Virat Kohli has terrific record against Pakistan
He will be playing Pakistan for the first time since that knock. Even though India and Pakistan only have met in ICC and Asia Cup tournaments in the past 9 years, Virat Kohli has had plenty of experience of playing against the Pakistani bowlers and under the pressure of an India-Pakistan game. And he’s more often than not, came out with flying colors: in 13 ODIs against Pakistan, Kohli averages 48 and has notched up 2 centuries and 2 fifties.
Mohammad Kaif asserted that Kohli knows the strengths and weaknesses of all Pakistani bowlers, and this gives the Indian batting star an advantage.
“The fact that he has played the Pakistani bowlers in their last match at the T20 World Cup, he will know how every Pakistani bowler bowls, whether it is Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, or Haris Rauf. Kohli will know how to play them, he will know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Virat Kohli will be very dangerous against Pakistan,” Kaif added.