Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir is a nightmare for batsmen around the world and his rivalry with Virat Kohli is now well documented. The two have a lot of mutual respect and admiration.
Last year, before the Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan in England, Amir had picked Kohli as his favourite batsman.
In the final, Amir removed Kohli cheaply but not before the Indian captain had been dropped in the previous delivery. The left-arm pacer had later revealed he was nervous when Kohli was dropped by Azhar Ali for 5.
“Everybody knows if you get Kohli, India is 50% out of the game. Until 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,” Amir had told ESPNCricinfo in an interview.
But if you thought that was the most difficult thing Amir has had to, then there’s more.
In a recent interview with Cricinfo, Amir, who has 213 international wickets, fatherhood is more difficult than bowling to Kohli.
And for the record, while Kohli is Amir’s favourite batsman, he finds Steve Smith the most difficult batsman to bowl to.
Kohli is leading India on a tour of England currently while Smith, who is serving a one-year ban over the ball-tampering scandal, is plying his trade in a T20 tournament Canada.
Kohli recently became the second Indian cricketer after Mithali Raj to reach 2000 T20 International runs. The India captain needed only eight runs before the start of India’s first T20I against England at Manchester on Tuesday.
He became the quickest to get to the 2000-run mark in the shortest format. He took only 60 matches and 56 innings to enter the coveted club.
He is also only the fourth male cricketer to reach the milestone after New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill and Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik.