Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir, who is now gearing up to make a comeback in Test cricket following an absence of almost six years, on Wednesday claimed that in his opinion, Indian Test captain Virat Kohli is right now the best batsman in the world.
Amir is all set to leave for the upcoming England tour as the left-arm pacer is making a comeback in Test cricket at the same venue where he played his last one – it’s none other than Lords.
While giving an interview to Times of India, Amir said, “Kohli certainly is the best (batsman) in the world, and is having a great run at the moment. The Asia Cup encounter is a case in point. The wicket wasn’t the easiest to bat on, and India were in a spot of bother when Kohli walked in.”
“He was able to negotiate those tough times and come out unscathed. That’s the hallmark of big players like Kohli. They dig in deep, weather out those rough passages of play and ensure they take their side home,” he also added.
Back in March, Virat Kohli fulfilled a promise he made to Mohammad Amir, gifting the Pakistani pacer one of his bats at Eden Gardens during the T20 World Cup.
In Mirpur during the Asia Cup in February this year, Amir had requested Kohli for a bat, and the Indian Test skipper had assured the left-armer that he would gift Amir one of his bats during the ICC World Twenty20.
Virat has always been true to his word, and just as the Pakistan team arrived at the ground for its pre-match training the day before the India vs Pakistan match even as the Indians were winding down their practice session, Kohli handed over a bat to the left-arm pacer, who also fancies himself as a batsman. It was lauded a great gesture from an Indian cricketer.
During the interview, Amir talked about his preparation for the upcoming England tour also and told: “We had a boot camp at the Kakul Military Academy in Abbottabad where we worked on our fitness and endurance levels and it helped us be in the best possible shape for the tour.”
“We had a chance to interact with soldiers of the Pakistan Army and it was a great experience. Apart from working physically, he also focusing mentally on the game, It is important to be in the best frame of mind in order to deliver on the field. Thankfully, I have a strong team which is backing me and our board too has been supportive.”
The 24-year-old Pakistani, who made his international return earlier this year, has been enjoying a good run of form and has been working hard ahead of the England series.
When the talented left-arm pacer marked his comeback in the limited-overs series in New Zealand a few months back this year, he was booed by a portion of the crowd in Auckland. Later on, during a T20 match held at Wellington, a stadium announcer taunted him by playing the sound of a cash register when the bowler was in action with the ball.
He could expect a similar reaction from the crowds in England. Amir, however, doesn’t look too much bothered by all that as Pakistan are all set to lock horns with England in the opening Test at Lord’s from July 14.