Haris Rauf on Virat Kohli’s Sixes: ‘If DK or Hardik Pandya hit me like that…’

Haris Rauf believes no player of world cricket has saved the peerless Virat Kohli who can hit him with those two sixs in India’s thrilling win over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup match in October.

Speaking to a Pakistani website for the first time about those two hits, Rauf said that if Hardik Pandya or Dinesh Karthik hit him like that, he would feel “hurt”. Kohli is unbeaten 83 on 52 balls, widely regarded as one of the best innings of T20, which saw India beat arch-rival Pakistan by four goals.

Needing 28 in the last eight balls, Kohli first brought Rauf to the ground with a long leg punch and then flung him behind the square to end the match essentially before the end.

“It’s his class and the style of play he plays, and the two sixs he hits, I don’t think any other player could have hit those shots. If Dinesh Karthik or Hardik Pandya hit those shots. I was like, I would have been injured but that’s Kohli, and that’s on another level,” Rauf told the ‘Cricwick’ website in an interview.

The first six hits to the ground were something Rauf couldn’t comprehend even after a month.

“I didn’t know he (Kohli) could knock me down at that length. So when he hit that shot off me, it was his class. The plan and the execution. Mine was fine but that shot was class.”

Rauf’s plan was to provide left-winger Mohammed Nawz with at least 20 cushions for the final but Kohli’s brilliance upset his plans.

“Look, India asked for 31 of the last 12 balls. I only missed three out of four serves. I knew Nawaz was bowling on the last turn, he was a pitcher and I tried to leave at least four big boundaries for him and leave at least 20+ runs,” Rauf said.

“And since 28 balls were required in the last eight, I threw the three slower and he cheated. I only got one fast out of the four. So the idea. is to hit a slower ball on that long back because the size of the square boundary is larger.”

Rauf said he has a good relationship with Kohli, having bowled with him at the Indian grid during the 2018-19 series when the Final Test was held at SCG.

“I’m playing tier 1 club cricket in Sydney and I’ve been bowling with the India team. Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ravi Shastri, they always welcome me very warmly. Ravi Shastri, in fact, during the World Cup was told me he was happy to see my success and transformation.

“Kohli is also very appreciative. He told me you’ve been bowling against our net and now it’s nice to see you doing well at the international level.”

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