Sports Monks

‘He’s a Normal Batsman’ – How Junaid Khan Dominated Virat Kohli in ODIs

Dismissing Virat Kohli is a dream for many bowlers, but one bowler who had the upper hand on the Indian captain was Pakistan left-arm pacer Junaid Khan.

Junaid has bowled 24 balls to Kohli conceding just 3 runs, bagging 3 wickets. All their clashes came in the 2012 Pakistan tour of India, where the visitors beat the hosts 2-1 in a three-match ODI series.

“The first ball I bowled to him was a wide but the next ball when I beat him, I thought ‘well, he’s a normal batsman’. Then I got some momentum,” Junaid said on the Cricingif show on YouTube.

“Virat jokingly told me ahead of the series that these are Indian pitches and that balls won’t swing or seam here. I said ‘we’ll see, because I have plenty of momentum with me as well.”

“Before that tour, I was playing domestic cricket in Faisalabad. I had bowled around 35-40 overs in each match so I had developed momentum heading into the series,” Junaid said. “I was making a comeback in the ODIs and when we were heading to India, I knew in my mind that this is my only chance to stage a strong comeback into the team. I was permanent in the Test team but had to comeback to ODIs. Secondly, I knew if I would perform well in India, I would need to take wickets.”

Junaid, however, said Kohli is the best batsman in the current era.

“No doubt Kohli is the best batsman in all three formats. If you ask anyone, they’d say that guys like Babar Azam, Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith are the best batsmen of the generation, but on top of the lot is Kohli because he’s performed outstandingly in all three formats.”

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