Mohammad Amir, Pakistan left-arm pacer has revealed the tactics he employed in the 2017 Champions Trophy final that contributed to the dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and helped his team Pakistan bag the trophy.
He made this disclosure during an interaction with Kamran Akmal on the latter’s YouTube channel.
Mohammad Amir: Rohit Sharma Struggles Against In Swing
Kamran Akmal asked Mohammad Amir about his dream spell in the Champions Trophy final, where he dismissed Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. He responded he wanted to get those three Indian top-order batsmen out as early as possible.
“When I held the ball, the first thought that came to my mind was how enjoyable it would be if I can get these three batsmen out that day. I was thinking about that while going back to my run-up.”
Mohammad Amir pointed out he was aware of opener Rohit Sharma’s difficulties against the incoming deliveries. He added that he did not bowl in-swingers in first 2 balls to give him the illusion that the ball was not darting in.
“I knew Sharma struggles against in-swing. So, my plan was that I will not bring in the first two balls. I will make him feel that the ball is not swinging and will take the ball away with the angle.”
Mohammad Amir highlighted Rohit Sharma fell into his trap and was caught plumb in front of the stumps off his third delivery.
“If you see the first two balls, I have just taken them away with the angle. The third ball I brought it in. So, that was the plan which worked.”
Mohammad Amir recently announced retirement at 28 years of age after playing 36 Test, 61 ODIs and 50 T20Is. He had figures of 3/16 in 6 overs in the final of 2017 Champions Trophy against India. India managed only 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338.
Mohammad Amir On How He Got The Better Of Virat Kohli
Mohammad Amir recalled Virat Kohli being dropped by Azhar Ali at first slip. He revealed that then he was thinking about Fakhar Zaman’s exploits with the bat in the first innings scoring 114 after being dismissed off a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball.
“And then Kohli came and when his catch was dropped, I remembered about Fakhar because he had got out to a no-ball and then scored a century. And I had not seen such a batting wicket at the Oval.”
Mohammad Amir added he was scared that the Indian captain might turn the match into a lopsided one-sided contest if he stuck around for some more time.
“So, while going to my run-up I was thinking that if Kohli stands there now, he will finish the match in 40-45 overs.”
“When Kohli came to bat, I bowled him an in-swinger first and he was beaten. After that I had decided, I will not bring the ball in to him. Let him keep thinking that I will bring the ball in.”
He recollected trying to get the Indian batting mainstay caught at slip by tempting him into a drive after the previous delivery had also been put down at the same position.
“The first one went to slip as it went out with the angle. The second one also I had thought I will bowl him the same but a little up and let him drive and wanted to take a chance for a slip catch.”
He highlighted Virat Kohli was looking to play the ball to the leg side expecting an in-swinger, only to be caught by Shadab Khan at a leading edge.
“But Virat Kohli was already looking to play me towards the on-side. His body had already turned towards the on-side. But my ball was going away with the angle and I am thankful Shadab took a brilliant catch as it was a tough one.”
Pakistan set India a massive 339-run target in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. Mohammad Amir got rid of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan with just 33 runs on the board. Pakistan then registered a convincing 180-run victory.