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June 16, 2019

Kohli plays down hype over Amir duel


June 16, 2019

MANCHESTER: Cricket fans are eagerly anticipating a battle within a battle as Pakistan take on India in a mouth-watering World Cup clash here at Old Trafford on Sunday.

So will Mohammad Amir scalp Virat Kohli like he did in the Champions Trophy two years ago? Or will the Indian captain succeed in avenging that embarrassing 180-run defeat?

When asked about it, Kohli made it clear that he won’t add any fuel to fire.

“I won’t give an answer to give you TRPs,” Kohli responded when asked about his view on a possible duel against Amir.

“Honestly speaking, I give respect to skills of bowlers but to say that I have contest with any particular bowler won’t be true. To me personally it’s a white ball or a red ball coming at me and I have to play it on merit,” commented Kohli.

“The idea is to remain focused against any bowler be Amir or a part-time bowler. You play a bad shot and you are out.

“I have to remain focus, be it Amir or any part-time bowler. If I couldn’t play well, I will lose my wicket,” he said.

Kohli remained very guarded throughout his pre-match press conference here at Old Trafford but opened up a bit when asked about his personal experiences in matches against Pakistan.

His most tense memory against Pakistan?

“Tense was Champions Trophy 2009, where Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) fractured a finger, and I was literally flown in and in two days time I was playing against Pakistan at Centurion. I hadn’t experienced anything like that before, and I played a very bad shot, and I couldn’t sleep until 6:00 in the morning. I was looking at the ceiling and thinking, that’s it, I’ve flown in, and now I’m finished,” he said.

His India-Pakistan funniest moment?

“I can’t explain the incident properly, but it happened during the 2011 World Cup. In Mohali there was a little incident which I saw from the opposition side, which I can’t really elaborate here. That was quite funny.

“It was involving Shahid Afridi and Wahab Riaz. I was standing at the non-strikers strikers end, and I heard a conversation, which as I say, I can’t elaborate here, but in a high pressure game, that made me laugh, that’s all I can say.”

When asked about Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik, who is expected to hang his boots after the World Cup, Kohli said that the veteran all-rounder has achieved a lot for Pakistan and he wishes him all the best.

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