Virat Kohli reveals why he played Saeed Ajmal as leg-spinner and not offie during his knock of 183 vs Pakistan
Virat Kohli’s quick-fire 183 against Pakistan, in the 2012 Asia Cup, is regarded as one of the best knocks of the right-hander’s career. Kohli’s career curve took an upsurge after the 2011 World Cup and the prolific batsman eventually flaunted his potential with his 183-run knock against the arch-rivals. Chasing a challenging total of 330, India pulled off a thrilling victory with 13 balls to spare.
Kohli, who notched up his third One-day century, belted 22 boundaries and one six in his scintillating knock. With this knock, the world witnessed the rise of the ‘Chase Master’ of India.
Kohli, in a recent Instagram live with Ravichandran Ashwin, reminisced his knock and revealed how he tackled Saeed Ajmal. Kohli revealed that he negated Ajmal’s lethal weapon, the doosra, and tried to hit him over cover at a consistent rate.
“I told myself that I am going to start playing him (Ajmal) like a legspinner because his doosra was quite difficult to face and his offspinner was not that lethal. So I said I am going to try and hit him over cover consistently, and it just paid off. As soon as I negated his doosra, the potency of his threat became lesser and lesser,” Kohli told Ashwin during the chat.
I was just happy batting next to Sachin Tendulkar: Virat Kohli
Kohli recalled that his aim was to make Ajmal unsettled with his own weapon, the doosra. Hence, Kohli scored most of his runs against Ajmal through the off side.
“In that game, I scored most of my runs against him through the offside. My only aim was that I am going to make him unsettled with his doosra. He should fear bowling the doosra to me, then I am on top of my game,” he added.
Kohli also said that Pakistan’s bowling lineup was quite potent at that time. However, Kohli, along with Tendulkar, changed the course of the game with their 133-run stand for the second wicket. Coincidentally, it was Tendulkar’s last ODI for India as well.
“Their bowling attack was quite potent. At the time they were a really challenging bowling attack because of the variations. There was Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema and there was Hafeez as well. For the first 20-25 overs, the conditions were clearly in their favour but I remember I was just happy batting next to paaji (Sachin Tendulkar),” recalled Kohli.
“It turned out to be his last ODI innings and he scored a 50 and we got a 100-run partnership so that was a memorable anecdote for me,” he added.