New Delhi: After guiding India to a 5-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in a topsy-turvy Asia Cup game, Virat Kohli hailed opposition bowler Mohammad Amir for bringing world class bowling in the tournament on Saturday.
Kohli played a patient 49 off 51 deliveries after Amir toyed with other Indian batsmen. The vice-captain's knock helped India reached the target of 84, but he was impressed the the bowing of Amir.
Amir, who is making a comeback to cricket after serving a prolong suspension, started Pakistan's defence with an unplayable first over. He sent back both Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane in a space of two deliveries, to reduce India to 2/2.
Kohli admitted that it was tough batting against Amir. But the 27-year-old was happy that he got to play against a top bowler.
"It wasn't an easy wicket to bat, I wasn't happy with myself in the last game, where I went too hard at the ball, I had to respect the conditions, I made mistakes in the last innings but I dug in this time ..."
Amir continued terrorising Indian batsmen with a perfect display of seam bowling, moving the ball either way and landing his deliveries in the perfect areas.
"I would like to congratulate Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled, I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. It was amazing to play such a spell. Counterattacking is the game I play, that's why I bat at no.3 but sometimes you have to respect the conditions and play that way. It is very important to be able to change your shot at the last moment in such conditions ... you need to be switched on mentally, stay calm and relaxed," Kohli added.
The 23-year-old then accounted for Suresh Raina in his second over, thus allowing Pakistan to have a go at India. His figures of 4-0-18-3 was not certainly the best today, but his spell will be remembered for its class.
For the record, early in Pakistan's innings, Indian youngster Hardik Pandya registered a figures of 3.3-0-8-3.