Sohail Khan defends 'Sher apne ghar ka' comment about Virat Kohli

Published: November 23, 2015
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PHOTO: REUTERS

PHOTO: REUTERS

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.”

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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.”

I was scared Misbah might topple me: Sohail Khan on de Villiers’ wicket

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.”

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Nov 23, 2015 - 4:13PM

    Well the whole world know it ‘Lions at home and rats outside’Recommend

  • Arshad Hussain
    Nov 23, 2015 - 5:42PM

    All you said is agreed. But some thing is never said. (Referring the last paragraph).Recommend

  • Talking Point
    Nov 23, 2015 - 6:49PM

    To stay relevant involve India or Indians. Good going. Recommend

  • Justice
    Nov 23, 2015 - 7:46PM

    @Asad: Can’t even say the same about Pakistani team. Neither can play at home nor they step outside Asia.Recommend

  • MJ
    Nov 23, 2015 - 9:57PM

    While I love Virat Kohli’s batting style, numbers don’t lie.
    Highest batting average of an Asian batsman outside Asia, Misbah-ul-Haq: 63, Virat Kohli 41.
    Misbah leads this list and Kohli is number 2. It is an all time list comprising of batsmen playing or retired! Numbers don’t lie.Recommend

  • Anuj
    Nov 23, 2015 - 10:47PM

    @MJ Is this topic about who has highest batting average? How many matches Pakistan has played outside asia in last 3 years. How many matches has Misbah has won for his side and how many centuries has he scored in ODIs. If Kohli keeps playing in SC his average will sky rocket to 65. And is that average of 65 in test? I’m sure no one can beat Dravid to it. Tell me where you got that figure from?Recommend

  • Nov 23, 2015 - 11:27PM

    That statement is the highlight of his career, he has achieved nothing but tried to tag along the popularity of Virat. I wonder if virat even remembers this guyRecommend

  • Anuj
    Nov 23, 2015 - 11:53PM

    @MJ: Number make Tendulkar greatest and Dravid best test batsman from asia. Number says Virat has 22 ODI tons while Misabah has none. You are right, numbers don’t lie.Recommend

  • Tommy Gunn
    Nov 24, 2015 - 12:01AM

    I think Virat Kohli had the last laugh when India & Pakistan played their world cup match after those comments were made.Recommend

  • MJ
    Nov 24, 2015 - 12:07AM

    @Anuj. Yes Tendulkar was great and Dravid was actually better, but stay within the context. We are not talking about how many runs a batsman scored. We are talking about “Ghar ka Sher”. Here are numbers from 6 months ago:

    Misbah 44 innings 1820 runs 60.7 average
    Kohli 57 innings 2143 runs 43.7 average
    Gambhir 34 innings 1264 runs 43.6 average
    Dhoni 75 innings 2463 runs 42.5 average
    M-Yousuf 115 innings 4090 runs 42.2 average
    Ganguly 131 innings 4919 runs 41.3 average
    Z-Abbas 32 innings 1194 runs 41.2 average
    Sachin 171 innings 6359 runs 40.8 average
    Sangakkara 150 innings 5185 runs 39.3 average
    Dilshan 108 innings 3544 runs 39.0 average
    I am doubtful that this fact based comment is going to be published by the moderators but it just shows how much better our poorly rated Misbah is. He is heads and shoulders above all the batsmen in the list above when it comes to playing OUTSIDE ASIA. On difficult pacy, bouncy pitches in swinging conditions.Recommend

  • MJ
    Nov 24, 2015 - 4:20AM

    I have been trying to post all the answers to the questions above but the moderators won’t post my answers:-(Recommend

  • AA
    Nov 24, 2015 - 8:31AM

    @MJ:
    No1 doubts that Misbah has been under-rated – mainly by Pakistanis only.

    One suggestions though – just quoting numbers ain’t enough, one needs to understand these as well.
    Misbah’s average is so high because most of the times he comes down the batting order and remains unbeaten as the tail-enders fail to lend support to him. Do a simple division of runs by matches and see the result.

    (And Misbah isn’t alone; Dhoni’s average for ODIs also gets inflated in the same fashion).Recommend

  • Shine
    Nov 24, 2015 - 4:02PM

    @Justice:
    But whats wrong with Indian team? They neither play well in Asia nor outside Asia. Recent humiliation in a good example of that. Isnt it.Recommend

  • Justice
    Nov 24, 2015 - 4:44PM

    @Shine: And what has Pakistani team achieved in recent time? Whitewashed by BD, lost to team like Eng in UAE. Ranked 8th in ODIs, qualify for CT by playing series with ZIM twice and never plays in AUS, ENG. You know what real humilation is? Playing home matches ‘outside home’. What say mate??Recommend

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