Pakistan right-arm fast-bowler Sohail Khan, who is hoping to make a comeback into the international circuit for the country, has defended comments he made about Indian Test captain Virat Kohli before the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Sohail, in an interview to a Pakistani news channel before the 2015 World Cup, was quoted as saying that Kohli was only a lion in home conditions (“Sher apne ghar ka”). The fast bowler, however, insists he was misquoted.
“I think that statement was misquoted or not understood properly. Look, Virat Kohli is a top batsman for his country and he has always had my full respect for what he has achieved for India,” said Sohail in an interview to PakPassion.
“However, once we are on the field, I forget all that and my only job as a Pakistan player or an opposition bowler is to make sure no batsman can score against me and that I am able to take his wicket. He has a bat in his hand to score runs for his team and I have a ball in mine to make sure he doesn’t. That’s all what I meant.”
Asked about his fitness, Sohail said that he felt 100% fit now and was raring to make a comeback for Pakistan.
“My fitness is excellent at the moment as you can probably check from my current performances in the on-going domestic tournament. I feel 100% and will also be taking part in the BPL soon,” said Sohail.
“As far as my back injury is concerned, this is all part and parcel of cricket. This was a slight stress fracture which I have had treated and looked after by Dr Sohail of the National Cricket Academy who also supervised my training and rehabilitation at the facility.
He went on to point out that when the Quaid-e-Azam trophy began, he bowled 35 overs in the very first game and took three wickets as well. “In the next game, I also bowled long spells and took eight wickets in total and then in the recently drawn game I took two wickets as well. So all in all, my progress is good and as per plan.”
Moreover, Sohail was all-praise for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) whom he credited for taking care of him during his injury.
“PCB has been very diligent in taking care of me during my injury period. The national selectors have indicated that I need to restore my fitness and I will be considered for selection in the future,” said the 31-year-old.
“They assured me that they are observing me in domestic cricket and that my performance in the 2015 World Cup has been noted as has been the fact that I was one of the leading domestic bowlers last year. To tell you the truth, I am really looking forward to joining the national team again and watching my teammates perform on television does make me very envious.”
Furthermore, Sohail said that Pakistani fast-bowlers still have the sort of aggressive approach that Shoaib Akhtar used to display.
“All fast-bowlers have and have had this ability to be aggressive. In recent times, Pakistan had Shoaib Akhtar who bowled with a lot of fire and now we have Wahab Riaz who shows plenty of aggression,” he added.
“As for me, I don’t just turnaround after every ball and just go back to the top of my run-up. I will give the batsman a stare and have a few choice words with him. The idea is to mentally disturb him into playing a bad shot on the next ball. But obviously more than that and one can risk fines and bans which is not the idea of this.”