Ahead of the much awaited high-voltage India-Pakistan encounter in the upcoming Champions Trophy on June 4 at Edgbaston, Pakistani speedster Junaid Khan has taken a dig at skipper Virat Kohli, saying his team is not afraid of the swashbuckling Indian batsman and they know how to tackle him. Junaid said Kohli is a great batsman but has failed against his pace in the past. “I have dismissed him in three out of the four matches we have faced each other. He is a brilliant batsman but he has failed against me,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “I bowled Kohli in India in front of his fans so it won’t be a problem in England.”
Both Junaid and Kohli have faced-off quite a few times in the past and the 28-year-old Indian batsman has managed to score just 2 runs off his 22 balls in ODIs. The Pakistani speedster thus feels he has the psychological advantage over Kohli and will be looking to use that to his advantage.
“When I face him, I will consider him the same Kohli. I may be wrong but I think he will also think of me as the same Junaid that has taken his wicket before, which might make him go on the defensive a bit more and therefore lose his wicket,” said the 27-year-old. “He has been hitting sixes and fours all over the world but none of them have come against me, which is an honour for me and I will try to keep that record intact in the upcoming Champions Trophy,” he added.
The left-arm pacer also revealed that he has working on his swing to further improve on Pakistan record, which reveals that the Men in Green have defeated Team India in four out of five matches in which Junaid has played. “I have been working on my swing, which is my speciality and my biggest weapon, since many of my seniors have told me that my swing has gotten weaker,” he said.
“However, Kohli is not the only good player in their side and my focus will be on all of their batsmen. I have been watching their videos and have prepared myself to face them too,” he added. While Pakistan hold a 2-1 lead over their fierce rivals and neighbours in the Champions Trophy, it is India who have won 10 out of the 11 contests at the World Cup and World T20 tournaments between the two sides.
The Indian cricket team, who won the coveted title back in 2013, couldn’t have found a better opponent than arch-rivals Pakistan to begin their title defence in England and Wales. The Virat Kohli-led side, who are the defending champions, will be the more confident side going into this tournament, which begins from June 1.