Former Skipper 'Feared For His Safety' After Dropping Virat Kohli in 2017 CT Final
Kohli was dismissed by Mohammad Amir [Twitter]
Indian talisman, Virat Kohli, has attained a reputation as a skilled chaser. His extensive batting prowess has left many formidable opponents, including Australia, Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, and New Zealand, in his wake.
However, his performances against Pakistan are particularly noteworthy, as he has led India's chase in numerous successful innings. The elegant batter's remarkable innings in the 2016 T20 World Cup, the 2012 Asia Cup, the 2019 World Cup in Australia and most recently in 2022 T20 World Cup, are a testament to his unmatched ability to perform under pressure.
Despite his remarkable track record, Kohli has also experienced moments of failure. The 2017 Champions Trophy final was a particularly contentious match for Kohli, as he fell victim to Mohammad Amir's aggressive bowling while India were chasing a target of 339.
Kohli, was presented with an opportunity to extend his stay at the crease when former Pakistan captain, Azhar Ali, failed to hold onto a catch in the slip region. However, Kohli failed to capitalize on this chance as he perished to the very next delivery off Amir’s bowling, and ended up being caught by Shadab Khan at point, who displayed remarkable reflexes to complete the catch.
Speaking about the dropped catch, Azhar, who recently retired from international cricket confessed that he was acutely aware of the potential repercussions of his mistake, as he feared the backlash of the Pakistani public should Kohli win the match for India.
The Pakistan veteran recounted feeling an immense burden of responsibility as he imagined the disapproving gaze of spectators and contemplated the possibility of his home being vandalized. Azhar's apprehensions were assuaged when Kohli was dismissed by Amir, who quickly dismissed him after the catch was missed.
"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 Pakistan TV show 'Hasna Mana Hai'.
Kohli's early dismissal proved to be a decisive factor in the final, which Pakistan went on to win by an impressive 180-run margin as India were dismissed for a measly 158.