If there is any bowling attack Virat Kohli would love to take on any day, it would undoubtedly be that of Pakistan. Well, his numbers speaks for himself. Given the stakes are always high with India facing Pakistan only in multi-nation events over the last 11 years, Kohli goes a notch higher against the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf as seen in that sensational show in Melbourne last year in the T20 World Cup. Hence, it was only natural for newly-appointed BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar to make a savage claim on Kohli pertaining to a query on the Pakistan face-off in the Asia Cup. But Shadab Khan wasn’t happy at all with the claim as he brutally shut down Agarkar.
On Monday, after much deliberation, Agarkar, in the presence of India skipper Rohit Sharma, announced the 17-member squad for the Asia Cup, along with a travelling reserve in Sanju Samson. Following the announcement at a press conference in New Delhi, one of the journalist queried about the blockbuster clash against Pakistan on September 2 in Pallekele, asking about India’s plan for the likes of top ODI bowlers in Rauf and Shaheen. Agarkar laughed and replied: “Kohli will take care of them”.
While the answer drew a smile from the those present at the presser, Pakistan all-rounder Shadab was left unimpressed. On Saturday, after Pakistan’s 59-run win against Afghanistan in the third ODI in Colombo, when he was asked about his take on the claim, Shadab smirked saying that mere words don’t hold true and that the truth of it will only be seen on the matchday.
“It depends on a particular day, probably. Now, someone from India or me can make any claim, but those are just words. Anybody can say anything and that doesn’t change or affect anything. When we will have the match, then we might see what goes on,” he said.
Since 2019, Kohli has faced Pakistan only in T20I contests, where he has scored 158 runs in 110 balls against the pacers, comprising Naseem Shah, Shaheen, Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Shahnawaz Dahani. He has only been dismissed once, by Shaheen in the 2021 T20 World Cup, after scoring a fifty.