Only Virat Kohli could have hit those two SIXES, reveals Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf about T20 World Cup 2022 knock
The Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf believes that no player in world cricket save the peerless Virat Kohli could have hit him for those two sixes in that thrilling India victory against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 match in October.
Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf made his Test debut in the 1st Test against England at Rawalpindi on Thursday (December 1). One of his most memorable clashes in international cricket was the T20 World Cup 2022 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against India on October 23. Kohli hit a match-winning 83 not out in that game, which included two stunning sixes off Rauf in the penultimate over of the match.
The Pakistan speedster believes that no player in world cricket save the peerless Virat Kohli could have hit him for those two sixes in that thrilling India victory against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 match in October. Speaking for the first time to a Pakistani website about those two hits, Rauf said had Hardik Pandya or Dinesh Karthik hit him like that, he would have felt ‘hurt’. Kohli’s unbeaten 83 off 52 balls, considered as one of the greatest T20 innings, saw India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by four wickets.
Needing 28 off the last eight balls, Kohli first lofted Rauf down the ground with a back-foot punch for the ages and then flicked him behind square to basically close the game before last over. “That was his class and the kind of shots that he plays, and the two sixes that he hit, I don't think any other player could hit those kind of shots. Had Dinesh Karthik or Hardik Pandya hit me like that, I would have been hurt but that was Kohli, and that's different class,” Rauf told ‘Cricwick’ website in an interview.
Haris Rauf on Virat Kohli's sixes against him is the best thing you'll hear on internet today pic.twitter.com/67IlV5tuCo— retired ICT fan (@anubhav__tweets) November 30, 2022
The first six hit down the ground is something that Rauf isn’t able to comprehend even after a month. “I had no idea that he (Kohli) can hit me down the ground off that length. So when he hit that shot off me, that’s his class. My plan and execution was fine but that shot was all class.”
Rauf’s plan was to give left-arm spinner Mohammed Nawaz at least 20-run cushion for the last over but Kohli’s brilliance upset his plans. “Look, India required 31 off the last 12 balls. I had given away only three runs off four deliveries. I knew Nawaz was bowling the last over, he is a spinner and I had tried to leave at least four big boundaries for him and leave at least more than 20 runs,” said Rauf.
“And since 28 were required off last eight balls, I bowled three slower one and he was deceived. I had only bowled one quick ball out of four. So the idea was to bowl a slower one on that back-of-a-length zone since the dimensions of square boundary was bigger.”
Rauf said he has shared a good rapport with Kohli, having bowled to him at the India nets during the 2018-19 series when the last Test was held at the SCG. “I was playing Grade 1 club cricket in Sydney and I had bowled to the Indian team. Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ravi Shastri, they have always met me with lot of warmth. Ravi Shastri, in fact, during World Cup told me that he was so happy to see my success and transition.
“Kohli has also been very appreciative. He told me that you bowled at our nets and now it is good to see you do well at international level.”
(with PTI inputs)