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Mohammad Amir reveals how he played with Virat Kohli’s mind in Champions Trophy final

first_imgMohammad Amir getting the wicket of Virat Kohli in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final is perhaps one of the most remembered moments of recent cricket. Amir’s breakthrough took the game away from India and Pakistan went on to win the trophy for the first time.Pakistan had trounced India by 180 runs in the final to win the title at the Oval, despite having lost to the same team in group stage by 124 runs (DLS method).Amir was the wrecker-in-chief in the final as he got the wickets of the top three (Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Kohli) within nine overs to leave India in dire straits.Amir has now revealed how he set up the wicket of Virat Kohli and how he gauged the mindset of India’s best batsman to trap him with that outswinging delivery.”The Champions Trophy final was one of the most special moments of my career because that made the public of Pakistan extremely happy. That match made the entire public of the country as one.”When Virat Kohli came in, I had bowled an inswing delivery and he was beaten. Rohit Sharma was also dismissed off an inswinging delivery. About Kohli, there is this thing that early on when he is not set on the crease, he gets beaten by owtswing and he struggles if you get him out of good areas. So I knew that I had bowled an inswing delivery to him and I did not have to bowl the same again,” Amir said at the Voice of Cricket show.advertisementAlso read – What were Kohli, Malik and Yuvraj laughing about after Champions Trophy final?Amir said that he was just thinking that the Fakhar Zaman episode should not come back to bite Pakistan and was simply praying for Kohli’s wicket.Earlier in the match, in the first innings, Jasprit Bumrah had picked Zaman’s wicket in the fourth over when he had scored just three runs but it turned out to be a no-ball and the Pakistani opener went on to score a century.”He [Kohli] was dropped earlier and when I was going for the run-up after that I was thinking that I hope the Fakhar Zaman case does not happen with us because a batsman like Kohli, if you give him a chance then it’s gone. His winning ratio in the second innings is the most, he performs the best in pressure. I was praying to God for his wicket and was thinking he should not take the match away from us because if he would have played till the end, he would have won India the match.”If you see his body language also, he was like Amir will bowl to me an inswinging delivery and so I had it in mind, that I have to bowl to him in the same area but an outswing. The next ball he was completely on the onside thinking I will bowl an inswing and got out,” Amir further added.Amir added that in tough situations it was important to know your role as a bowler and said that it was important to know the strengths and weaknesses of the batsman you’re bowling at.”In tough situations, some players perform some don’t. That’s a problem of the mind because your thinking towards the game is very important. When you take a ball or the bat, you should know what your role is. For example when I have to bowl with the new ball, I should know that I have to get a breakthrough with the new ball. We should know the batsman’s strengths and weaknesses. Like if I knew that Kohli plays well on the leg and I keep bowling him there, I’m a stupid bowler, I don’t know my role.”Off the field however, Amir had only good words for the Indian captain and said that Kohli was “extremely humble” outside the ground.”He [Kohli] has given me two bats, one during the T20 World Cup and then during the Champions Trophy. Kohli is such a good person. On the field, it looks like he is aggressive and it should be like that. But off the field, he is extremely humble.”When questioned what was a more precious wicket for Amir — Sachin Tendulkar’s or Virat Kohli’s in the Champions Trophy final, Amir had a very particular reason for picking Tendulkar’s wicket.”Both. They’re both big batsmen. Tendulkar I will say because when I was playing then, I was new to the team and Tendulkar was at the fag end of his career and he was a huge name in world cricket. Kohli had not even made his name at that time. So it used to be like if you take Sachin’s wicket, it will be very special. So Sachin’s wicket was special for me.”advertisementlast_img read more