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Amir responds to Kohli's lavish praise

Pakistani quick declares Indian superstar his 'favourite batsman' in world cricket

Mohammad Amir has continued the niceties between he and India rival Virat Kohli, who earlier this month described the Pakistani firebrand as the toughest bowler he had faced.

Amir has previously declared his respect for Kohli but this week the 25-year-old anointed the Indian superstar his "favourite batsman" in world cricket.


The Pakistan fast bowler famously dismissed the India skipper in the ICC Champions Trophy final earlier this year as the underdogs went on to claim a famous victory.

It is the only time Amir has removed Kohli in six white-ball encounters – a record impacted by his five-year ban for his role in the spot-fixing scandal – but it is clear the left-armer provides a constant threat for batsmen.

While Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson are all recognised as among the world's elite batsmen, Amir gave Kohli his tick of approval, with the right-hander averaging over 50 in ODI (55.13) and T20I (52.91) cricket, while his Test average (49.55) continues to improve.

"No doubt, there is only plan A to get him out as soon as possible," Amir told ESPNcricinfo.

"His ratio of success in chases is very good.

"He has always performed well in the pressure games, so if you get him out early then you have won half the match.

"From my point of view, Kohli is a very good cricketer.

"I wish he creates more records for his country and for his fans."

Amir has last laugh after Kohli's second chance

The feeling is mutual, with Kohli making the surprising admission earlier this month that Amir was the toughest bowler he had faced.

Amir has established himself in all three formats and has almost 200 international wickets to his name despite his lengthy absence.

"In the recent times, Mohammad Amir of Pakistan (is the hardest to face)," Kohli said on an Indian chat show.

"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, a very good bowler."

Amir celebrates the wicket of Kohli in the Champions Trophy // Getty
Amir celebrates the wicket of Kohli in the Champions Trophy // Getty

Amir acknowledged the praise he had received from Kohli, adding he had been the lucky recipient of some gifts from the stylish Indian.

"No doubt, Virat is a good batsman and praise from him gives you confidence and you start believing you can perform much better," he said.

"I have said many times that he is my favourite batsman in recent times.

"He is quite a tough batsman and you need to be tough when you are bowling at him.

"Our mutual understanding is really good. Whenever we meet, we greet each other.

"He gifted me a bat during the Champions Trophy and before that he gifted me a bat during the World T20.

"I really like his bats so I always ask for them. He gifts me his bats even if I don't ask him.

"No doubt, if he requires something from me, I will definitely give it."