Virat Kohli’s knock of 183 against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup was one of his masterful knocks as he began his ascendancy literally to the top of the mountain. During an Instagram live session with teammate Ravichandran Ashwin, the Indian captain spoke in detail about that innings and how he managed to neutralise Saeed Ajmal.
Pakistan set India a daunting chase of 330 on the back of twin centuries by openers Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez in Dhaka. Gautam Gambhir departed for nought while facing the second ball of India’s chase, but the Men in Blue got over the line with 13 balls to spare, headlined by Kohli’s masterful knock from 148 deliveries.
Virat Kohli stitched vital partnerships of 133 and 172 with Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma respectively that set up the match beautifully for them. Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was one of the best spinners in Pakistan’s ranks, could claim only one of the four wickets to fall for India.
Speaking in specific about him, Virat Kohli said he decided to face him like a leg-spinner since Ajmal’s doosra was hard to negotiate. Kohli continued by remarking that he hit him over the cover consistently. The Delhi batsman’s most runs off the spin-bowler came through the off-side, and he intended to make his Doosra his weakness, which Kohli was successful in doing.
“I told myself I am going to start playing him (Ajmal) like a leg-spinner because his doosra was quite difficult to face and his off-spinner was not lethal. So I said I am going to try and hit him over cover consistently and it paid off. As soon as I negated his doosra, the potency of his threat became lesser and lesser,” Kohli said as quoted by ANI News.com
“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 my doosra. He should fear bowling the doosra to me, then I’m on top of my game,” he added.
Their bowling attack was quite potent: Virat Kohli
The Indian captain went on to praise Pakistan’s formidable attack back then. While their arch-rivals always boasted of a reputation of producing some deadliest bowlers, 2012 was no different. Virat Kohli conceded that in the first 20-25 overs, the conditions were entirely conducive to them and he was thankful to bat alongside Sachin.
“Their bowling attack was quite potent. At the time they were a challenging bowling attack because of the variations. There was Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema and there was [Mohammad] 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,” Kohli said.