Former Pakistani fast thrower Mohammad Amir recalled his winning performance in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, where his spell destroyed India’s first order and paved the way for Pakistan’s famous victory. Amir, who recently announced his retirement from international cricket, collected 3/16 out of six overs, sacking India’s top three – Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – to reduce opposition to 33/3 while the Pakistan began its defense of 338.
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“When I held the ball, the first thought that came to my mind was how fun it would be if I could get these three hitters out that day. I was thinking about it on my way back to my run, ”Amir said during a conversation with stake keeper Kamran Akmal.
“I knew Sharma struggles with in-swing. So, my plan was not to bring the first two balls. I will make him feel that the ball is not swinging and take the ball away from him with the corner. If you see the first two balls, I just took them off with the corner. I took the third ball in. So, that was the plan that worked. “
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Amir trapped Rohit out LBW third ball in the inning, followed by the wicket of the dangerous Kohli in his next over to reduce India to 2/6. Shortly after the scoreboard was 54/4 and from there it was all downhill for India. Hasan Ali cast another fantastic spell on Pakistan by claiming 3/19 while India was eliminated for 158.
However, Amir’s firing from Kohli was a pivotal moment in the game. Previously, after being put to bat, Fakhar Zaman, who scored with a century, was sent off by a no-ball. Amir, who had nearly pushed Kohli back before his eventual expulsion, realized he couldn’t afford to offer the Indian captain another lifeline and set off on his run-up.
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“Kohli arrived and when his hold was broken, I remembered Fakhar because he ended up in a no-ball and then scored a century. And I hadn’t seen such a batting wicket at the Oval. So, as I went to the run-up I thought that if Kohli was there now, he will finish the game in 40-45 over, “recalled Amir.
“When Kohli came to bat, I threw him an in-swinger first and he was beaten. After I have decided, I will not bring him the ball. Let me keep thinking that I’ll get the ball inside. The first went to slip as he exited the corner. Even the second I had thought that I would hit him anyway but a bit ‘up and let him drive and I wanted to risk for a slip grip.
“But Virat Kohli was already trying to play me on the bright side. His body had already turned to the right side. But my ball was going away with the corner and I’m thankful that Shadab took a brilliant hold because it was tough. “