Virat Kohli masterclass again in Ind vs Pak match in Asia Cup 2023?

The previous showdown between Virat Kohli and Pakistan witnessed a spectacular T20I innings that’s etched in memory. In a crucial T20 World Cup match, Kohli steered India to an astonishing victory from a near-impossible situation.

Fast forward almost a year, and the question beckons: Can Kohli recreate his magic as India takes on Pakistan in the opening match of the 2023 Asia Cup on September 2 in Kandy? This time, the stage shifts to the ODI format and different conditions, yet Kohli’s exceptional prowess and the familiar Pakistani bowlers remain constants.

Remembering his remarkable unbeaten 82 off 53 balls against bowlers like Shaeen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Nawaz, it’s fascinating that these very bowlers will be in the spotlight once again.

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After last year’s Asia Cup and T20 World Cup, Kohli has a valuable understanding of Pakistan’s approach. Shaheen’s early threat, Naseem’s precision, Haris’s middle-over challenge, Shadab’s knack for breakthroughs, and Nawaz’s spin – Kohli is no stranger to their strategies.

Post the memorable T20 World Cup clash where Shaheen Afridi shook India’s top order, Kohli’s form has been consistently remarkable. Even in that tough match, he secured a half-century. His T20I average of 88 across the last three India-Pakistan encounters speaks volumes. Impressively, he’s struck three half-centuries in four recent meetings. Worth noting, these duels were all T20Is.

Shifting gears to ODIs, the last India-Pakistan ODI was back in 2019 during the World Cup. Time has passed, but Kohli’s ODI excellence stands strong. Cricket pundit Mohammad Kaif believes Kohli has cracked the Pakistani bowlers’ code.

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“Kohli’s fantastic show in Australia’s T20 World Cup against Pakistan showcased his brilliance. He leads the charge and takes responsibility, a chase expert. His Asia Cup heroics, including the century against Afghanistan, sparked his World Cup form. The Pakistani bowlers won’t forget that. They’ll tread cautiously against Kohli, knowing his fall could ease pressure. Yet, his current form keeps bowlers on toes. His T20 World Cup faceoff means Kohli knows Pakistani tactics. Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf – he knows their game. Kohli’s familiarity could make him a thorn.”

Kohli’s anticipation for ODIs shines: “ODIs, my love. It’s the real test – technique, temperament, strategy – a full check. This format demands all from a batsman. I relish the challenge, adapt to aid my team’s win. ODI cricket ignites me.”

Anticipation builds around Kohli’s upcoming ODI performance against Pakistan, as his history, insights, and enthusiasm create the perfect backdrop for a thrilling showdown.

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