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Virat Kohli’s Mastery Acknowledged by Pakistan’s Shadab Khan Ahead of Asia Cup

Pakistan’s vice-captain and all-rounder, Shadab Khan, has spoken highly of Virat Kohli’s cricketing skills, emphasizing the strategic planning required to tackle the formidable Indian batsman. In a conversation with Star Sports, Khan lauded Kohli’s extraordinary skills, particularly recalling his remarkable performance against Pakistan during the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.

Virat Kohli’s exceptional innings, where he steered Team India from 31/4 in a chase of 160 with an unbeaten 82, left an indelible mark on the minds of cricket enthusiasts. Shadab Khan highlighted the exceptional nature of Kohli’s innings against Pakistan’s potent pace attack, which included Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf.

During the conversation, Shadab Khan commented, “He is a world-class player, definitely. You have to plan a lot to face him. Anyway, in international cricket, there are a lot of mind games, because you definitely have the skill to reach that level. But how you read each other’s minds, the bowler and the batsman, how they read each other’s minds, and it also depends on what the situation is.”

Praising Virat Kohli’s adaptability and impact, Khan added, “The kind of batsman that Virat Kohli is, the way he has performed against us, even in the last match at the World Cup, I do not think that any other batsman in the world was in that situation, could have done that to our bowling line-up. And the beauty of it is that he can do this at any stage and at any time.”

Pakistan’s young pacer, Shaheen Shah Afridi, also shared his strategic approach for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. Afridi outlined his aim to disrupt the opponent’s top-order by dismissing the openers early, putting pressure on the middle order unaccustomed to facing the new ball.

Also See; India vs Pakistan Match and Series Schedule (2023/2024)

Virat Kohli’s batting record against Pakistan speaks volumes of his dominance. In 13 ODIs against Pakistan, he has amassed 536 runs at an average of 48.72 and a strike rate of 96.22, including two centuries and two fifties. Overall, in 23 international matches across formats against Pakistan, Kohli has scored 1,024 runs at an average of 60.23 and a strike rate exceeding 107, with two centuries and seven fifties.

Kohli’s current form is also noteworthy. In 10 ODIs this year, he has amassed 427 runs at an average of 53.37, with two centuries and a fifty, including a top score of 166 against Sri Lanka. Across all formats in 17 international matches this year, he has notched up 984 runs at an average of 54.66, featuring four centuries and two fifties.

Virat Kohli’s contribution to the IPL 2023 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was also commendable. Despite RCB not advancing to the playoffs, Kohli compiled 639 runs in 14 innings at an average of 53.25, accompanied by a strike rate of 139.25. His performance included two centuries and six fifties, making him the fourth-highest run-getter of the tournament.

As Virat Kohli’s career continues to flourish, cricket enthusiasts are keenly observing his journey towards breaking records. With 12,898 runs in 275 ODIs at an average of 57.32, featuring 46 centuries and 65 fifties, fans anticipate that Kohli’s statistics could further soar, potentially touching 13,000-14,000 ODI runs by the end of the year. The possibility of surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries and becoming the first-ever player to reach 50 ODI tons remains an exciting prospect.

Indian Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve).

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