Thursday, February 29, 2024

Haris Rauf recalls bowling to Virat Kohli in nets: ‘It felt like I was playing a match against him’

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In their past encounters, Haris Rauf and Virat Kohli have engaged in memorable duels. Rauf, armed with his searing pace, has posed a formidable challenge, while Kohli’s wealth of experience and impeccable technique have provided him with a distinct advantage in these clashes.

Haris Rauf and Virat Kohli stand out as two of the most electrifying figures in contemporary cricket. Their encounters on the field have consistently delivered captivating moments.

One of them is renowned for his blistering pace, consistently breaching the 150 kmph mark. The other boasts a reputation as one of the most technically adept batsmen globally, equipped with a wide array of strokes and exceptional skills in handling fast deliveries.

Yet, the history between these two goes back quite a distance. Rauf recently reminisced about his early days when he served as a net bowler during India’s 2018-19 tour of Australia, getting the opportunity to bowl to none other than Virat Kohli himself. Remarkably, Rauf’s journey had only just begun, as he made his international debut in 2020.

In ESPNcricinfo’s documentary, “The Incredible Rise of Haris Rauf,” the Pakistani fast bowler shared his insights about bowling to Virat Kohli. Rauf mentioned, “When I was serving as a net bowler for the Indian team and had the chance to bowl to Virat Kohli, it felt like he possessed an uncanny ability to predict exactly where the ball would connect with his bat. His intense focus during those sessions was truly remarkable.”

“Even in the practice nets, it seemed like I was engaged in a real match against him, despite my role as a net bowler. His exceptional control and unwavering intensity underscored why he enjoys such a lofty reputation in the world of cricket.”

Previously, Rauf had also commented on Kohli’s brilliant knock of 82* and the breathtaking sixes that Kohli had struck at the MCG. Rauf remarked, “The way Kohli played in the World Cup showcased his class, and we are all aware of the caliber of shots he can execute. Those sixes he hit, I don’t believe any other player could replicate them off my deliveries. If it had been Dinesh Karthik or Hardik Pandya hitting those sixes, it might have stung a bit, but when they came off Kohli’s bat, it was a testament to his extraordinary skill.”

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