'God forbid if Virat chases this down, they'll vandalise my house': Ex-Pakistan captain after dropping Kohli cheaply

By, New Delhi
Mar 28, 2023 07:49 AM IST

Virat Kohli is called the Master of Chase but there have been instances when Kohli has faltered while chasing.

Virat Kohli is called the Master of Chase for a reason. He has scored 21 of his 45 ODI centuries in successful chases for India which is a record it itself. Australia, Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, New Zealand… no team has been spared. However, when it comes to India vs Pakistan contests, Kohli becomes a different beast altogether. He has led India's chase on more than one occasions against Pakistan – be it the 2012 Asia Cup, T20 World Cup 2016 or the most recent World Cup in Australia last year – where Kohli played quite possibly the greatest innings of his entire career.

Virat Kohli played an epic against Pakistan during last year's T20 World Cup. (Getty)
Virat Kohli played an epic against Pakistan during last year's T20 World Cup. (Getty)

Having said that, there have been instances when Kohli has faltered while chasing – the most unpopular of which is the 2017 Champions Trophy final. In his first ICC tournament final as India captain, Kohli fell cheaply as India were knocked over cheaply for 158 in their chase of 339. Kohli was part of India's top-order collapse with Mohammad Amir wrecking the line-up.

Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali, who announced his retirement from international cricket had thought of all the ramifications about his drop catch in those 30-40 seconds between the two deliveries. Azhar revealed that he knew he would not be spared by the public of Pakistan if Kohli mastered India's chase on that evening at Lord's.

"I saw it in reality. Between that drop catch and his dismissal, plenty of things flashed before my eyes. It felt as if I have been burdened with weight and pressure, and that the entire world is watching me asking as if 'Look what he's done'. That was my feeling and I thought 'God forbid, if he does what he is famous for... of he chases this down - he scores a lot in chases - my house will get vandalised'. Fortunately, I was just thinking about all these scenarios and he got out the next ball," Azhar said on 'Hasna Mana Hai'.

Kohli received a lifeline early when Azhar dropped a catch at second slip, but couldn't make the most of it as Amir removed him the very next ball, top edging to point where Shadab Khan completed a smart catch. Thankfully for Azhar, Kohli's innings was cut short and Pakistan were crowned champions, winning the final by a humongous 180 runs. "I feel I was happier than the whole of Pakistan. Close shave," added Azhar.

Hasan Ali was named Player of the tournament, while India's wrecker-in-chief with the Fakhar Zaman walked away with the Player of the Match award. Fakhar went on to blast 114 as he and Azhar (59) put on 128 runs for the opening wicket. Unlike Kohli, Fakhar rode his luck, getting out off a no-ball from Jasprit Bumrah. Incidentally, in a riveting disclosure, Azhar said that a few days before the final, Fakhar had dreamt of something exactly.

"When he came back after being given not out, he was laughing. He later shared that he had a dream that he got off a no-ball. So, when a repeat of it happened in the final, I fist pumped him," Azhar said.

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