India-Pakistan rivalry in cricket is such a massive one that a great performance can make you a hero and similarly, a difficult outing and you will be put down very soon. The one who soaks in the pressure and comes out on top becomes immortal, something what Virat Kohli did last year in the T20 World Cup 2022 match between the two teams when India needed 28 runs to win off eight deliveries and he hit two sixes off Haris Rauf including the 'shot of an emperor' on 18.5 straight over the bowler's head.
It was a contrasting outing for Kohli and Rauf and since then it has become a battle to watch out for. Rauf took on Kohli in the Asia Cup recently but the encounter in the World Cup will be epic as the pacer will be eyeing a revenge in the World Cup but India star too will be up for the challenge.
But did you know that Rauf met Kohli for the first time even before he became an international cricketer for Pakistan? Yes, during India's 2018-19 tour of Australia, Rauf was a net bowler when he was part of the pace academy in Melbourne and recalled his first time bowling him. Rauf revealed that Kohli was so sure of his timing that he knew where the ball was going to hit his bat.
“When I was a net bowler for the Indian team and was bowling to Virat Kohli, I felt like he knew exactly where the ball was going to hit his bat. He was very focussed and that showed how sharp his concentration was,” Rauf said in ESPNcricinfo’s documentary 'Zero to 150 - The Incredible rise of Haris Rauf'.
“Even during practice sessions in the nets, it felt like I was playing a match against him, despite being a net bowler. His remarkable control and intensity made me realise why he has such a reputation in the game," he added.
Rauf will be key to Pakistan's chances given he is their main death bowler and his battle with Kohli on October 14 in Ahmedabad is keenly awaited.