Virat Kohli, it appears, is not just the toast of India. Arch-rivals Pakistan seem to rate him as highly as his own countrymen. Soon after Imran Khan rated Virat Kohli above Sachin Tendulkar,Mohammad Amir, the controversial pacer on the verge of a Test comeback, said the 27-year-old Indian Test captain was the best batsman in the world.
Amir and Kohli faced off for the first time in an Asia Cup T20 encounter earlier this year. When the lanky pacer was banned for five years after his involvement in the spot-fixing scam of 2010, Kohli was still struggling to cement a place in the Indian team.
But by the time Amir returned, having served prison time, Kohli was among the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket. On a green Dhaka pitch, where India had lost both their openers to Amir’s searing pace, Kohli played a classic against a four-pronged pace attack.
Later, Kohli congratulated Amir for a great spell of fast bowling and said he was thrilled with the sheer pace.
Amir, as it happens, was equally impressed with Kohli, and rated him above any of the current batsmen in world cricket.
“Kohli certainly is the best (batsman) in the world, and is having a great run at the moment,” Amir told the Times of of India. “The Asia Cup encounter is a case in point. The wicket wasnâ€™t the easiest to bat on, and India were in a spot of bother when Kohli walked in.”
“He was able to negotiate those tough times and come out unscathed. Thatâ€™s the hallmark of big players like Kohli. They dig in deep, weather out those rough passages of play and ensure they take their side home,” he said.
Amir will soon fly out to England for four Tests, five ODIs and one T20 International. The opening match of the Test series will see Amir return to Lord’s, the venue of the infamous spot-fixing scandal.