Back in 2016, on the eve of India’s T20 World Cup match against Pakistan in Kolkata, Rohit Sharma had played down the hype around then returning Pakistan quick Mohammad Amir, calling him “just a normal bowler”. Six years hence, Amir, who has now retired from international cricket, recalled the old comment and took and sly dig at the present India captain.
Less than a month back, in Sri Lanka, Amir was lauded by Virat Kohli as a “world-class” bowler after his fiery three-fer saw the dismissal of Rohit, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina. Amir finished with 3 for 18 in that game in four overs although Kohli’s masterclass had helped India emerge triumphant.
However, Rohit had played down all the hype around the threat Amir posed to the India line-up, ahead of their game against Pakistan in Kolkata in the 2016 T20 World Cup.
ALSO READ: Afridi’s blunt reaction to Jay Shah confirming longer IPL window: ‘Biggest market is India. What they say will happen’
“Stop talking about him already. He isn’t the only bowler, Pakistan have five other bowlers who are doing well for them. There is just so much hype around him, I don’t think it is right to give him too much hype after one match. He is good but he needs to prove it over and over again. Now people are comparing him to Wasim Akram and all that. He is just a normal bowler, on that given day if he is good, he is good. It is not as if he turns up and blows everyone away,” he had said.
Six years hence, speaking to a local media channel in Pakistan, Amir admitted that he doesn’t take Rohit’s comment seriously and rather hailed him as a “world-class batter”.
“I don’t take Rohit Sharma’s statement serious. Everyone has its own opinion and it is impossible that everyone regards me as a world-class bowler. There is nothing to be felt bad about it and as a professional, we should not take such things in a negative way. You cannot be everyone’s favourite. No doubt he is a world-class batsman. I bowled well every time I have faced Rohit and he struggled while facing me, still I will call him a world-class player,” said Amir on a private news channel [as quoted by ASports].
A year after Rohit’s comment, he was dismissed by Amir yet again, in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. His fiery opening spell, that saw the dismissal of Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli helped Pakistan lift the elusive trophy at the Oval.