Virat Kohli is just a normal batsman: Junaid Khan

Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan hogged the limelight in international cricket ever since he showcased his terrific bowling skills against Indian cricket team eight years ago. The fast bowler was so good in his line and length that he turned out to be a nightmare for Virat Kohli the last time when two nations played a bilateral series in 2012.

Virat Kohli is just a normal batsman: Junaid Khan
Virat Kohli and Junaid Khan

When senior players fell prey to the deadly Pakistani bowling attack, the pressure was on Kohli to take the game away from the visitors. But, the talented Kohli himself failed to up the ante and eventually got out.

Kohli who was Indian vice-captain back then managed to score just 13 runs in three ODIs, losing the battle to Junaid Khan on all three occasions. Junaid Khan was the star performer for Pakistan as he claimed eight wickets in the series.

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Junaid Khan hasn’t bowled much against Virat Kohli since, which means, Junaid currently holds the upper hand. It will be quite interesting to see when these two players will have a go against each other. So far, Junaid Khan has bowled 24 balls to Virat Kohli and has dismissed him thrice. In fact, Kohli has only scored just three runs against him.

Recalling his sheer domination, the fast bowler said he knew Kohli was normal batsman after the first two balls. “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,” Junaid told Cricingif.

“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,” he added.

Junaid’s match-winning heroics in the series saw Pakistan clinch the first two ODIs and claim the series on placid Indian tracks. India made a comeback at chilly Feroz Shah Kotla, where they defended a paltry total of 167. Earlier, the two-match T20Is series ended in a tie. India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral series since then but continue to square off in ICC events.

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