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Columns

Pakistan lack players of Kohli's calibre
Inzamam-ul Haq
September 16, 2012
First Published: 23:41 IST(16/9/2012)
Last Updated: 23:44 IST(16/9/2012)
Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring 50 runs during the second T20 match between India and New Zealand at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. AFP/Manjunath Kiran

The T20 World Cup actually gets underway on Monday itself, and I am confident there will be no bigger match than the India-Pakistan tie in the preliminary phase. It might be termed as a warm-up game, but there can be no warm-up when India and Pakistan face each other. The organisers have done a brilliant job by scheduling an India-Pak warm-up match a day before the start of the tournament, as this will help the event attract all the attention.

I believe that an India-Pak cricket match is bigger than any other series between any two countries. As these two teams don't play much, it becomes very keenly followed all across the globe. The players have to handle the biggest pressure of their playing careers. The match on Monday is actually going to help players of both sides. It will give them a proper perspective as to how much pressure they would need to handle.

The match-winner
For me, the player to watch out for from both sides will be Virat Kohli. After a long time, I am seeing a cricketer who is a match-winner by himself and has in his repertoire all sorts of strokes. Generally, people who have all sorts of strokes tend to play too many shots and give away their wicket. But Virat controls his shots. He is a brilliant player who adapts to all conditions.

I admire Sehwag and a few more in the India team but Virat is different. Pakistan lack such a world-class player, especially in their batting. West Indies have a Chris Gayle to win them matches single-handedly but Pakistan don't have one.

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The writer is a former Pakistan skipper


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