Former Pakistani captain Salman Butt has praised Indian batter Virat Kohli for his well-compiled half-century in the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 match against Pakistan on Sunday, September 4, in Dubai. Butt opined that the Men in Blue would have failed to reach a competitive total, but for Kohli’s knock.
Team India put up 181 for seven on the board after being sent into bat by Pakistan. Kohli top-scored with 60 off 44 balls, hitting four fours and a six. Pakistan, however, chased down the target by five wickets courtesy of fine knocks from Muhammad Rizwan (71 from 51) and Mohammad Nawaz (42 off 20).
Despite India’s loss, Butt was highly impressed with the manner in which Kohli paced his innings. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he commented:
“Virat Kohli played an excellent knock for India. He held the innings together even as wickets kept falling at the other end. Had he not played that knock, India would not have reached that score (181) because the others were hitting and getting out.
“It seemed like a plan where one batter would anchor the innings and the others would attack.”
Kohli's innings ended when he was run out in the last over by a direct him from Asif Ali.
“He was in full control” - Salman Butt on Kohli’s knock
Analyzing the former Indian captain’s performance in detail, Butt said the 33-year-old looked in complete control and played some amazing strokes. He stated:
“He was in full control. He ran hard between wickets and was pushing the ball into the gaps. He also flicked a six off (Mohammad) Hasnain, a ball which was delivered at 148 kph. It was an outstanding shot and one of a man in very good form, who is seeing the ball very well.”
Butt also took a veiled dig at former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif, who claimed last year that Kohli would find it difficult to regain form as he is a bottom-handed player. The 37-year-old said:
“For people who were saying that he cannot score because he is a bottom-handed player, here is the answer. He has scored in three games in a row, and we can expect a few more good knocks in the coming matches as well.”
Before the match against Pakistan, Kohli had registered scores of 35 and 59 in the group stage of the Asia Cup 2022. He took a short break from the game following a poor series in England, skipping the white-ball tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe.
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