Indian skipper Virat Kohli recently described Mohammad Amir as the toughest bowler he has faced in international cricket. “In recent times, Mohammad Amir of Pakistan. He is in the top two or three bowlers in the world and one of the toughest bowlers I have played in my career. You have to be on your A game when you’re facing him or he will strike. Outstanding! Very good bowler!” It is very rare that Indian or Pakistani players praising each other. Responding to Kohli’s latest remarks, the Pakistani pacer said he was floored with the India captain’s assessment of his bowling. Amir said “It is a great gesture on his part to praise someone and I am floored at his praise of my bowling. The way he presented me with the bat in Kolkata is an ever green memory for me.”
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Indian batsman Virender Sehwag once told in a program that “During Rahul Dravid’s captaincy, Dhoni got the role of a finisher. He got out a couple of times playing a bad shot and he was also reprimanded by Dravid during one instance. But from that instance, he completely changed his approach and became a very good finisher.
Story – When Sourav Ganguly promoted Mahendra Singh Dhoni to number 3 spot sacrificing his own position of play
“We were experimenting with the batting order at that time. Ganguly decided to give Dhoni a chance at No.3 for three or four matches. There are a very few captains who would first give away his own batting spot for Virender Sehwag and then his set spot of No.3 for Dhoni. Had Dada (Ganguly) not done that, Dhoni would not have become such a great player. Ganguly always believed in giving chances to new players.” as told by Virender Sehwag
It was very difficult when I started my cricketing career. I wasn’t interested in cricket initially. Instead, I started for fitness. In 2003, I was a huge fan of Wasim bhai (Wasim Akram). So obviously, I loved fast bowling as I was a left-arm fast bowler. When I stepped on the field at an academy, I only practiced fast bowling for about four-five months. Then one day, my coach called me and said that from today, you won’t continue fast bowling. I don’t know why he felt that. Then he told me to bowl spin. The first ball I bowled was Chinaman. I wasn’t even aware what a Chinaman is. I just held the ball and bowled and it turned out to be a Chinaman. Luckily, it was natural for me. The coach thought it was something special and if we work on this, we would achieve some good results in the future.
When I walked towards him (Shane Warne), I couldn’t believe that I was standing in front of him. He greeted me with a warm smile and it felt very heartening to see a legend embrace you in that manner. It was a great experience. I asked a lot of things about my bowling and the different ways to use my variations effectively. He felt very confident about my bowling and said he had been following my performances. Those words are like gold for me. I couldn’t believe I was speaking to my idol and sharing my thoughts on bowling.