Star Afghanistan National Cricket Team leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who is regarded as one of the best modern-day leg-spinners, has narrated a fascinating story about former India National Cricket Team captain and modern-day batting great Virat Kohli’s determination ahead of the Asia Cup 2022.
The 23-year-old, who is a player of the Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said that he was stunned to see the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter Virat Kohli bat for about two and a half hours during a net session ahead of the clash between Faf du Plessis-led Royal Challengers Bangalore and Hardik Pandya-led Gujarat Titans.
“During the IPL, we had a match the next day against RCB. In the nets, I was just counting the time Virat was out there. To be honest, he batted for two and half hours.
“Main aisa hairan hua (I was so shocked ). Our nets were finished and still, he was there batting. The next day he scored around 70 against us. His mindset is very positive,” Rashid told sports presenter Sawera Pasha ahead of the Asia Cup.
Kohli batted brilliantly the next day against Gujarat Titans and smashed his second half-century in the 15th edition of the tournament. He scored 73 off 54 balls, which was his highest score in IPL 2022, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) registered an easy eight-wicket win over IPL 2022 champions Gujarat Titans.
Main toh yahi bolunga that he is not out-of-form – Rashid Khan
After the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, where Kohli had a poor run with the bat, the 33-year-old participated only in one assignment for India, the tour of England, which ended on a forgettable note. Across 6 innings the star batter registered the highest score of 20.
However, Rashid doesn’t believe that Kohli is out-of-form. The star leg-spinner said that the expectations from Kohli are very high and people want him to score back-to-back centuries.
“Jab wo khelta hai toh aise shots khelta hai ki aap bologe ki bilkul out of form nahi hai. Main toh yahi bolunga that he is not out-of-form. (When he bats, he plays such wonderful shots that to me, he doesn’t appear to be out-of-form at all).
“The expectations are much more. People want him to score a hundred every second game. If you look at his Test match innings, he has got through the tough time, batted well, then somehow he has gotten out for 50 or 60 or 70.
“If there was any other normal batter then everyone would have said that he is in form but with Virat the expectations are such that they only want centuries,” Rashid said.
“Jitna meri usse baat hui hai. Uske mind mein kabhi aya nahi ki log kya kahenge ya unki expectations kya hai. (Whenever I have had a word with him he has made it clear that people’s expectations don’t really bother him).
“The way that he prepares, I think is an example for all of us. We tend to get motivated and put in more effort after watching him practice.
“A certain time comes 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 also come,” he added.
Former India National Cricket Team captain Virat Kohli will return to action in the Asia Cup 2022, which will be played in the UAE from August 27, after a break of over a month.
In their tournament opener, the Rohit Sharma-led India National Cricket Team are set to lock horns with Babar Azam-led Pakistan National Cricket Team at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai on Sunday, August 28.
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