WATCH: Virat Kohli applauds Haris Rauf’s rise from India’s net bowler
Ahead of the highly anticipated Asia Cup 2023 clash between India and Pakistan, players from both teams recently participated in a joint practice session held under floodlights. Earlier, Babar's team made a resounding start to the tournament, securing a commanding 238-run victory over Nepal in their opening match.
One of the most intriguing storylines in the India-Pakistan showdown revolves around the face-off between India's star-studded batting lineup and Pakistan's formidable bowling trio featuring Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf. In their previous encounter during the 2022 T20 World Cup, India's batters encountered significant challenges, finding themselves at 31/4. However, an extraordinary performance by Virat Kohli led India to a remarkable 160-run chase. Kohli's innings, highlighted by two memorable sixes against Haris Rauf in the final stages of the match, has since become an iconic moment in cricketing history.
Haris Rauf and Virat Kohli's relationship transpire many years
Interestingly, during their recent practice session when the duo met, Haris Rauf's comments seemed to reference those famous sixes that Kohli struck against him. Haris could be heard saying, “Jidhar se guzarta hu na, Kohli-Kohli hota hai (Wherever I go, I hear your name),” seemingly referring to the questions Haris is often asked about the sixes the star batter hit him.
The connection between the two extends beyond that single T20I encounter in Melbourne. Rauf, who gained recognition following his heroics for the Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash League was once called upon as a net bowler by the Indian cricket team during their 2018/19 tour of Australia.
The 29-year-old pacer went on to share insights about his interactions during that time with the then-India head coach, Ravi Shastri. “Whenever I meet him (Ravi Shastri), he tells me, ‘Yaar you were a net bowler when you came to us….and the way you’ve bowled in world cricket, you have a name. When we see you, we feel really happy.’ He also tells me that Virat bhai also appreciates my rise.”