Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir couldn't have dreamt of a better comeback to international cricket.
Amir, who was looking for one chance to prove himself after a five-year spot-fixing ban couldn't have asked for a better stage to prove himself again.
After Pakistan were shot out for a paltry 83 by the Indian bowlers in the Asia Cup, it was Amir's outstanding spell of three wickets from two overs that kept the interest in the match.
Kohli, who faced 15 deliveries from Amir, was quick to acknowledge the 'world-class' effort by his Pakistani counterpart.
"I would like to congratulate Amir for the way he bowled; I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. It was amazing to play such a spell. I said this before; he is a world class bowler," praised Kohli after India won the match comfortably.
Amir was obviously thrilled, "Kohli's praise made my day. It was generous of him to say so," Amir told Mumbai Mirror. "It's the sort of encouragement that you need and when it comes from a superstar like Virat, it means a lot. On the other hand, it's a big challenge for me as well because it adds to my responsibility to prove that I am worth that praise. Even before the match, he used some good words for me. It was very kind of him."
Kohli was one of the few non-Pakistani players to welcome Amir back.
Amir got three big wickets including that of in-form Rohit Sharma to rock India's chase. "I watched him (Rohit) bat in Australia where he scored a lot of runs so it was important to get him early. I thought I had him first ball but it was given not out. The next delivery was perfectly pitched and I got him. Shahid Afridi came to me and said that it is a big wicket. Then I had Ajinkiya Rahane and it doubled our joy. Next over I had Suresh Raina and before that I came close to dismiss Virat. We would have been in a strong position had that been given out."
Amir was full of praise for Kohli's mature knock that saw India through against the arch-rivals.
"He read the situation well and scored runs gradually and didn't panic at all. That proved that he is a world class player. Virat is a very good player and his words will help me do better and better. It was great to bowl at him and he once again proved that he is a world class player; ordinary player would have succumbed to that pressure but not Virat."
"It was unfortunate that we didn't have too many runs to play for. Had we got 110, it would have been our match but I am very happy that my performance helped us avoid a one-sided defeat. In fact we gave a scare to India,” said Amir.
Amir impressed again in the second match against UAE on Monday.
His figures two for six runs is the most economical spell by a Pakistan bowler in Twenty20 Internationals.