Pallekele, Sep 3: Pakistan's star left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi called the unwavering Virat Kohli the backbone of the Indian team and emphasized the importance of his wicket.
In the latest chapter of their rivalry, the traditional rivals had to split points as the match was called off after heavy showers washed out the play entirely in the second innings.
Virat announced himself on the pitch with a classic cover drive to kick off his innings. However, Shaheen got the better of him with an off-swinging delivery to dismiss him for a score of 4.
After the game, while speaking to the PCB Digital and talked about the importance of Kohli's wicket.
"His wicket was very important for the team. Virat Kohli is the backbone of the Indian team our plan was to bowl in the channel and it worked," Shaheen was quoted as saying in a video uploaded on Pakistan’s cricket Twitter handle.
Things started to shift in India's favour with Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya putting up a nerve-cracking partnership of 138 runs to pull the Blues back into the thick of the action.
"After the big partnership, Hardik Pandya’s wicket was very crucial at that time. Had the match happened, the result was in our hands, but we can’t do anything about the weather. Overall, our performance was good," Shaheen added.
Despite the two teams sharing points after the match was called off, Pakistan qualified for the Super 4s, securing three points from two matches. They had logged full points after the facile win over Nepal in the tournament opener.
India, which has just one point now, must beat Nepal in their next match on September 4 to secure passage to the Super Four stage.