KARACHI: Pakistan fast-bowler Junaid Khan has his eyes set on Indian skipper Virat Kohli when the two arch-rivals clash in their Champions Trophy opener on June 4.
While Kohli is one of the finest batsmen in the world, Junaid is understandably confident of dismissing the right-hander considering his track record against him.
“I have dismissed him in three out of the four matches we have faced each other. He is a brilliant batsman but he has failed against me,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “I bowled Kohli in India in front of his fans so it won’t be a problem in England.”
Junaid feels he has the psychological advantage over Kohli and will be looking to use that to his advantage. It has been four years since the two last faced each other but Junaid believes he still has the upper hand.
“When I face him, I will consider him the same Kohli. I may be wrong but I think he will also think of me as the same Junaid that has taken his wicket before, which might make him go on the defensive a bit more and therefore lose his wicket.”
Kohli has never struck a boundary against Junaid. In fact, Junaid’s record is so superior that his arrogance seems justified. The 27-year-old Junaid has bowled 22 deliveries to Kohli, with the Indian star making two runs off him and being dismissed thrice.
“He has been hitting sixes and fours all over the world but none of them have come against me, which is an honour for me and I will try to keep that record intact in the upcoming Champions Trophy,” he said.
Pakistan has won four out of the five matches against India in which Junaid has played and the Swabi-born revealed he has been working on his swing to further improve on that record.
“I have been working on my swing, which is my speciality and my biggest weapon, since many of my seniors have told me that my swing has gotten weaker,” he said. “However, Kohli is not the only good player in their side and my focus will be on all of their batsmen. I have been watching their videos and have prepared myself to face them too.”
Junaid feels his experience of playing county cricket in England puts him in good stead. “I know how these wickets behave in this weather, so I know what kind of deliveries to bowl and how to bowl them,” he added.
The left-arm pacer also had words of praise for new ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed. “I have played two ODI matches under his captaincy against the West Indies and we won both matches, with me claiming three wickets,” said Junaid. “He is a good leader and encourages the bowlers to bowl the way they want to, while also giving his own input.”