Premier Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf opened up on getting hit for sixes by Virat Kohli in a crunch situation during the T20 World Cup match against India at jam-packed Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was the fifth ball of the penultimate over where Kohli smacked Rauf straight down the ground off the backfoot for a six which was rated as a shot of the tournament by many. The batting maestro followed it up with a flick over fine leg, reducing the equation to 16 off the final over in one of the most memorable IND-PAK contests ever.
Rauf heaped praise on the former Indian captain and said that he showed his class in the T20 World Cup and no other batter can hit shots like those off his bowling
“The way he played in the World Cup, that is his class, we all know the types of shots he plays. And the way he hit those sixes, I don’t think any other player can hit shots like those off my bowling. If Dinesh Karthik or Hardik Pandya would’ve hit those sixes, I would’ve been hurting but those came off Kohli’s bat and he is a different class altogether," Rauf told Cricwick.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 83 in the group stage match against Pakistan to help India register a sensation win on the final ball. Kohli himself admitted that it was the best T20I innings of his career.
Rauf recalled his memory as he opened up on his strategy as he revealed that the plan was to leave more than 20 runs for the final over which was bowled by Mohammad Nawaz.
“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," he added.
The premier pacer further said that he didn’t think that Kohli can hit him down the ground from back of a length delivery but he admitted that the Indian batting maverick displayed his class with that shot.
“And since 28 were required off eight balls, I had bowled three slower balls and he was deceived. I had only bowled one quick ball out of four."
“The idea was to bowl a slower one on that back-of-a-length zone since the boundary was larger on the square side. I had no idea that he 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," he added.