Who could ever forget Indian batsman Virat Kohli's last-over heroics and the two sixes off Pakistani bowler Haris Rauf during the 2022 T20 World Cup? Kohli's out-of-the-park sixes in the penultimate over helped India win the final-ball thriller against Pakistan by four wickets. Rauf and Kohli will face again when the two sides meet in a blockbuster ODI World Cup match in Ahmedabad on October 14.
Before the upcoming World Cup clash, the Pakistani fast bowler took a trip down the memory lane, reminiscing about his past encounters with Kohli during practice sessions. Rauf revealed that he had served as a net bowler for the Indian cricket team.
"When I was a net bowler for the Indian team and was bowling to Virat Kohli, I felt like he knew exactly where the ball was going to hit his bat. He was very focussed and that showed how sharp his concentration was," Haris Rauf was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo's documentary ‘The Incredible rise of Haris Rauf.’
"Even during practice sessions in the nets, it felt like I was playing a match against him, despite being a net bowler. His remarkable control and intensity made me realise why he has such a reputation in the game,” the 29-year-old added.
With 53 wickets in 28 matches, Rauf has established himself as one of Pakistan’s premier fast bowlers in ODI cricket. He enjoys a decent economy rate of 5.68 in the 50-overs format. In T20Is, Rauf’s performances are no less impressive. Having scalped 83 wickets so far in 62 matches, Rauf has registered an economy rate of 8.04 in the shortest format of the game.
Kohli, on the other hand, will be aiming to replicate the batting form he produced during the T20 World Cup fixture against Pakistan last year. Chasing a target of 160, Kohli came up with a valiant knock of unbeaten 82 to earn a memorable win for India.
India and Pakistan last met each other at the Asia Cup and Kohli scored a fabulous 122 as India posted a mammoth total of 356. India had managed to clinch an emphatic victory by 228 runs in that contest.
India have faced each other seven times in the ODI World Cup. India won all seven matches.
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