The Pakistan-India 2016 Asia Cup encounter was a match not to be remembered by any Pakistani cricketer except left-arm pacer Muhammad Amir who bowled stupendously well with the new ball to receive a lot of praise even from the Indian batsman Virat Kohli.
Kohli was in awe of the 23-year-old’s spell and termed it amazing. “I would like to congratulate Amir for the way he bowled; I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. It was amazing to play such a spell. I said this before; he is a world-class bowler,” he commented after the match.
Meanwhile, Amir was grateful to the Indian right-hand willow wielder for praising his efforts.
“It was generous of him; what he said for me,” said Amir. “It’s the sort of encouragement that you need and when it comes from a star like Virat, it means a lot.”
Amir further added: “On the other hand, it’s a big challenge for me as well because it adds to my responsibility to prove that I am worth that praise. Even before the match, he used some good words for me. It was very kind of him.”
Amir also relived his spell and termed Indian opener Rohit Sharma’s wicket as a big breakthrough.
“I watched him [Rohit] bat in Australia where he scored a lot of runs so it was important to get him early,” said Amir. “I thought I had him first ball but it was given not out. The next delivery was perfectly pitched and I got him. Shahid bhai (Afridi) came to me and said that it is a big wicket. Then I had (Ajinkiya) Rahane and it doubled our joy. Next over I had Suresh Raina and before that I came close to dismiss Virat. We would have been in a strong position had that been given out.”
Kohli displayed his resolute will against Amir and other Pakistani bowlers to help India bag a victory.
“That proved that he is a world class player,” said Amir. “He read the situation well and scored runs gradually and didn’t panic at all. An ordinary player would have succumbed to that pressure, but not Virat.”
He added that Pakistan could have won the match if they had a 100+ plus score on the board. “It was unfortunate that we didn’t have too many runs to play for. Had we got 110, it would have been our match but I am very happy that my performance helped us avoid a one-sided defeat. In fact we gave a scare to India,” concluded Amir.
Muhammad Amir was quoted by Bangalore Mirror