‘Bahot acche yaar’: Virat Kohli applauds Haris Rauf’s rise from India’s net bowler in reunion ahead of IND-PAK Asia Cup clash | Cricket News

‘Bahot acche yaar’: Virat Kohli applauds Haris Rauf’s rise from India’s net bowler in reunion ahead of IND-PAK Asia Cup clash | Cricket News

Opposite to the wind of general talks on the outside with an India-Pakistan contest around the corner, the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma on the eve of their Asia Cup game would make it clear on record. “Rivalry is there for people to talk about but for us, we don’t want to look into all those things.”

That sentiment echoed around the Pallekele Cricket Stadium in Kandy as the two sets of players shared mutual respect and bonhomie in their pre-match training session meet ups, captured in a video shared by Pakistan Cricket on social media. Starting from the two protagonists of their last match.

“Jidhar se gujarta hu, ‘Kohli-Kohli’ kehte hai (Wherever I go, people say ‘Kohli-Kohli’),” Haris Rauf would tell the former India captain as the duo met on the ground that’ll see them both go up against each other for the first time since Melbourne 2022. A fascinating chapter in the Indo-Pak rivalry that saw Kohli deliver consecutive sixes off Rauf, who’d set the game for Pakistan in a 160 chase thriller.

But the conversation between the two is barely about that last game as Kohli quickly enquires Rauf about his fitness. “Keep going brother, there are big tournaments coming up,” the former India captain says.

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The two share a history that goes beyond one T20I in Melbourne. Rauf, who bursted on the scene following his during his heroics for Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League, was called as a net bowler by the Indian cricket team during their 2018/19 tour of Australia.

The 29-year-old pacer would share of his exchanges 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.”

Rauf turns the pages back with Kohli on Friday. “I remember that time (as a net bowler). I bowled to you then and then last year (at the World Cup),” he says to the Indian batter. Kohli shares a giggle with the Pakistan quick before applauding his rise in world cricket, “Bahot acche yaar. Bahot acche,” he says before the two shake hands and walk in opposing directions – as they will tomorrow.

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