Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan highly impressed during Pakistan‘s last bilateral series against India in 2012/13 season. He recently revealed how he managed to dismiss the Indian cricketer Virat Kohli in all the three ODIs of that India tour.
In December 2012, Pakistan toured in India for the two-match T20I and three-match ODI series that ran till the early January 2013. While the T20I series ended with the 1-1, Pakistan won the ODI series by the 2-1 margin.
In the ODI series, Junaid Khan and another Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal both finished as the leading wicket-taker as both bagged eight wickets each. Junaid dismissed Kohli in all the three ODIs of that tour.
Recalling their first meeting memory on the field, Junaid felt that the right-handed Indian batsman was just a normal batsman after he managed to beat him at early.
Junaid told Cricingif show on YouTube, “The first ball I bowled to him was a wide but the next ball when I beat him, I thought ‘well, he’s just a normal batsman’. Virat jokingly told me ahead of the series that these are Indian pitches and that balls won’t move much here. I said ‘we’ll see, because I have plenty of momentum with me as well.”
I knew in my mind that this is my only chance to stage a strong comeback into the team: Junaid Khan
Talking about his momentum, Junaid added that he was busy in bowling in domestic cricket before that India tour. As he was then making a comeback in ODI cricket, he felt that the India tour was his best chance to make a strong comeback into the national team.
He continued, “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. 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. Secondly, I knew if I would perform well in India, I would need to take wickets.”
No doubt Virat Kohli is the best batsman in all three formats: Junaid Khan
However, Junaid now praised the Indian captain Kohli as he has no doubt that Kohli is the best batsman in all three formats. Talking about why he is different from other top-class batsmen, Junaid pointed out his continuous top performances in all three formats.
Junaid said, “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 the best of the lot is Kohli because he’s performed outstandingly in all three formats.”
Virat Kohli has set a great example of consistency in batting as he has maintained the 50+ batting average in every international format. At present, Kohli is the no.1-ranked ODI batsman, no.2-ranked Test batsman and no.10-ranked T20I batsman.