The mutual admiration between Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir and India skipper Virat Kohli seems to be ever blooming. Amir on Thursday lavished praise on Kohli, terming the Indian as the biggest challenge that faces bowlers around the world.

Speaking to Wisden India, Amir said playing against players like Kohli brings out the best in bowlers like him.

“The world knows Kohli is the best. You have to give your best against him. If you give him a chance he takes away the game, like he did in the Dhaka Asia Cup game,” Amir told the website.

“So I have to focus and do my best to target him. He has the best strike rate and average while chasing so he is also the biggest challenge for bowlers around the world.

“You become a better bowler when you bowl well against a batsman like Kohli,” Amir added.

Returning the favour

Amir’s comments came days after Kohli had similarly heaped praise on the Pakistani bowler, terming him an ‘outstanding’ during an interview with actor Aamir Khan for a promotional event.

“Amir is among the top two or three bowlers in the world and the toughest I have played in my career. He is one of those bowlers who demands that you bring your ‘A’ game while facing him. Or he will strike. I would like to compliment Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled. I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. I was so happy to play such an amazing spell. He is a world class bowler,” Kohli had said.

The two have enjoyed a friendly relationship since they first crossed paths during the 2016 Asia Cup when the Pakistan pacer had returned to the international stage after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing.

Amir said he was also humbled by Kohli’s gesture during a practice session in Kolkata during the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, when the Indian skipper gave him a bat.

“It is a great gesture on his part to praise someone and I am floored at his praise of my bowling. The way he presented me with the bat in Kolkata is an evergreen memory for me,” Amir said.