Star Afghanistan National Cricket Team leg spinner Rashid Khan, regarded as one of the best leg spinners in the world today, has told a fascinating story about the former India National Cricket Team captain and today’s great batter Virat Kohli’s determination in the run-up to the 2022 Asian Cup.
The 23-year-old, who is a player for the Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said he was stunned to see Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli batting for about two and a half hours during a net session prior to the clash between Faf du Plessis-led Royal Challengers Bangalore and Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans.
“During the IPL we had a match against RCB the next day. In the nets I just counted the time Virat was there. To be fair, he hit two and a half hours.
“Main aisa hairan hua (I was so shocked). Our nets were off and yet he was there beating. The next day he scored about 70 against us. His mentality is very positive,” Rashid told sports presenter Sawera Pasha ahead of the Asian Cup.
Kohli hit the Gujarat Titans brilliantly the next day, hitting his second half-century in the tournament’s 15th edition. He scored 73 off 54 balls, which was his highest score in IPL 2022, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) recorded an easy eight-wicket victory over IPL 2022 champion Gujarat Titans.
Main toh yahi bolunga that he is not out of shape – Rashid Khan
After the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, where Kohli had a bad run with the bat, the 33-year-old only entered one assignment for India, the England tour, which ended with a forgettable ending. Over 6 innings, the star batter registered the highest score of 20.
However, Rashid does not believe that Kohli is out of shape. The star leg spinner said Kohli’s expectations are very high and people want him to score for ages on end.
“Jab wo khelta hai toh aise shots khelta hai ki monkey bologe ki bilkul out of form nahi hai. Most important toh yahi bolunga that he is not out of shape. (When he hits, he plays such beautiful shots that he doesn’t seem out of shape to me at all).
“The expectations are much more. People want him to score a hundred every second game. If you look at his innings in a Test game, he’s come through the rough times, hit well and somehow come out for 50 or 60 or 70.
“If there was another regular batter, everyone would have said he’s in shape, but with Virat, the expectations are like they just want ages,” Rashid said.
“Jitna meri usse bait hui hai. Uske mind mein kabhi aya nahi ki log kya kahenge ya unki expectations kya hai. (Every time I’ve had a word with him, he’s made it clear that people’s expectations don’t really bother him).
“I think the way he prepares is an example for all of us. We tend to get motivated and put in more effort after watching him practice.
“There comes a point in your career when whatever you try doesn’t work. But we as fans want him to score big runs and I’m sure the hundreds will come,” he added.
Former India National Cricket Team captain Virat Kohli returns to action after a hiatus of more than a month for the 2022 Asia Cup, to be played in the UAE from August 27.
In their tournament opener, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian national cricket team will close horns with the Babar Azam-led Pakistani national cricket team at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai on Sunday, August 28.
Also Read: India vs Pakistan: Australia legend Shane Watson offers significant Virat Kohli observation to predict his Asia Cup performance
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