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‘Don’t Think Any Other Batsman Could Have Done That’: Shadab Khan’s High Praise for ‘World Class’ India Batter

Last Updated: September 01, 2023, 13:48 IST

Shadab Khan (left) and Virat Kohli after the end of India vs Pakistan group match at T20 World Cup. (AFP Photo)

Shadab Khan (left) and Virat Kohli after the end of India vs Pakistan group match at T20 World Cup. (AFP Photo)

Virat Kohli will be hoping to produce another masterclass when India and Pakistan clash in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023.

They are fierce rivals on the cricket field but India and Pakistan cricketers have immense respect for each other and don’t shy away from acknowledging each other’s talent. Be it Virat Kohli or Babar Azam – two of the finest batters of modern era – players from either side of the border have in the past heaped high praise on each other.

Pakistan allrounder Shadab Khan has recalled his team’s memorable clash with India at the 2022 T20 World Cup which went down to the wire. In an epic finale, Virat Kohli produced a stunning finish to drive India over the line.

Also Read: Shami Says He’s Ready to Bowl at Any Stage Ahead of India’s Asia Cup Opener

Shadab has no hesitation in admitting that no other batter in the world could have pulled off a win from that position aside from Kohli.

“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 don’t think that if 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,” Shadab said on Star Sports.

Shadab reveals that facing someone of Kohli’s class requires lots of preparation and involves mind games during a contest.

“He (Kohli) 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,” he said.

Besides Kohli and Shadab, eyes will be on left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi whose spell with the new ball during 2021 T20 World Cup will still be fresh on the minds of Indian players.

Also Read: Kohli, Babar, Bumrah and Shaheen in Australia Legend’s ODI Dream XI

The  23-year-old says he always targets early wickets so as to put the middle order batters, who are not used to facing the new ball, under pressure.

“In my opinion, my game plan is simple, every opener knows my game plan. The goal is to, as always, get the openers out to put pressure on the batting team. The middle order when they come in are not used to playing against the new ball as much as an opener. So there is a lot of pressure on the middle order to face the new ball,” he said.

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