Ahead of the much-awaited Asia Cup 2023 clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on September 2 at Pallekele in Kandy, India batter Virat Kohli paid a compliment to the Pakistan bowling attack boasting the likes of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan.
India and Pakistan haven't played each other in an ODI since the 2019 World Cup in England, but took on each other twice in T20 World Cup (2021 & 2022), and twice in Asia Cup T20 (2022).
Kohli, made three fifties in those four clashes, and famously scored an unbeaten 82 in the last clash between both teams at Melbourne Cricket Ground in the T20 World Cup 2022, helping India win the match that seemed lost at one stage after a poor start with the bat.
Kohli lauded Pakistani bowlers, as he told Star Sports: “I feel bowling is their strength. And they've got some really impactful bowlers that can change the course of the game anytime based on their skill set. So, you have to be at your absolute best to face them,”
Kohli, has enjoyed great form with the bat since the last 12 months, especially in ODIs - the format which is being used for this edition of Asia Cup. The 34-year-old has scored three hundreds since December, and averaged over 50 in the format.
“I only try to understand how I can better my game. Every day, every practice session, every year, every season, this is what has helped me play this well for so long and to perform for my team,” Kohli said.
He added, “I don't think you can perform consistently without that mindset because if your performance is your only goal, then you can be satisfied and stop working hard. There is no limit to it,”
“There is no set achievement that if you reach a certain stage, you've reached excellence. I think I strive for betterment everyday, so that is a better word to use, and yes, performance obviously becomes a by-product because your mindset is ‘How do I make my team win from this position?” Kohli said before signing off.
India will begin their Asia Cup 2023 campaign with the Pakistan clash on Saturday, following which they will take on Nepal on Monday.
(With PTI inputs)