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'MS Dhoni told him to back off': Pakistan pacer recalls heated argument with Virat Kohli

1 month ago 22

Heated exchanges on the field between players during an India-Pakistan match are not a new sight to cricket enthusiasts. And the chances of such exchanges only increase with players like Virat Kohli on the field.

Though situations have cooled down a bit in recent times, there were times when captains of both sides had to intervene in order to handle them. Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was in charge of the team for a significant period, encountered such scenarios several times.

Pakistan pacer Sohail Khan brought to light an incident from an India-Pakistan game in the 2015 ICC World Cup. While speaking on the Nadir Ali Podcast, the cricketer narrated the old story, revealing that he and Virat Kohli got into a war of words during the said match. The argument turned so bitter that Dhoni and then-Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq had to step in to stamp out the dispute.

Going back to the match, batting first, India produced a mammoth total of 300 runs. Kohli was the show-stopper for India and led the run-fest with a century. He registered 107 runs off 126 deliveries, including as many as eight boundaries. The star batter was evidently charged up after his knock.

Coming to the run chase, the Pakistani batters suffered a massive collapse, losing seven wickets for just 154 runs. Only five batters from their lineup – Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, and Yasir Shah – managed to breach the two-digit mark.

Tail-ender Sohail Khan who came to the crease at the fall of the eighth wicket was the one who sent off Kohli in the first innings.

According to him, when he reached his mark on the crease, Kohli approached him and said, “You have just arrived in cricket and speak so much,” only to initiate the argument. The lanky pacer responded back with the same intensity. “I was a Test player then and had played matches in 2006-07. I said to Kohli- Son, you were playing for India U19 when your father (referring to himself) was playing Tests,” he recalled.

Then, Dhoni and Misbah came in between the duo and tried to cool down their respective teammates. Khan explained on the podcast, “When Misbah stepped in, he got angry with me. I was told to keep quiet by him. Then MS Dhoni arrived and instructed Kohli to back off saying, ‘He has been playing for years, you don’t know him.’ Kohli then went away and stood in one corner.”

In the end, India defeated their arch-rivals by 76 runs in that Pool B game. Later on, Australia eliminated them in the semi-final. On the other hand, Pakistan had failed to make it to the knockout stage.

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