Haris-Kohli rivalry in the spotlight
By News Desk
September 2, 2023 12:00 PM
Ahead of the blockbuster Asia Cup 2023 clash between Pakistan and India, players from both sides engaged in a common practice session under floodlights.
The clash between both sides will be their first ODI face-off since the 2019 encounter; under Babar Azam's leadership, Pakistan has proven to be a formidable T20I adversary for India, defeating the side in the Super Fours of the Asia Cup last year and securing a convincing 10-wicket victory in the 2021 T20 World Cup as well.
Babar's team has already made an emphatic start to the tournament, demolishing Nepal with a massive 238-run win in their opening match earlier this week.
One of the most compelling subplots in the Pakistan-India clash is the battle between India's star-studded batting lineup and Pakistan's fearsome bowling trio consisting of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf.
In their previous encounter during the T20 World Cup in 2022, India's batters faced significant troubles as they were reduced to 31/4. However, a masterclass from Virat Kohli steered India to an incredible 160-run chase. Kohli's innings included two remarkable sixes against Haris Rauf towards the end of the game, a moment that has since become iconic in the cricketing lore.
Leading up to this much-anticipated clash, the battle between Virat Kohli and Haris Rauf has justifiably garnered significant attention from fans.
Interestingly, during their practice session, Haris Rauf's initial comment seemed to allude to those famous sixes Kohli hit against him.
As both players met during the training session, Haris could be heard saying, “Jidhar se guzarta hu na, Kohli-Kohli hota hai (Wherever I go, I hear your name),” seemingly referring to the questions Haris is often asked about the sixes that the India's star batter hit him.
The duo also talked about the big ODIs tournaments including the upcoming ODI World Cup, scheduled to take place in India in October-November. The conversation eventually ended with Haris reminding the former India captain of the net sessions with the side in Sydney; the Pakistan bowler had bowled to a number of Indian batters at nets during the side's tour of Australia in 2018/19.
Kohli then engaged in a heartwarming exchange with Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi, a moment that is sending ripples on the internet.
Kohli and Shadab were seen sharing laughter with Virat even checking out the Pakistan all-rounder’s bat.
Kohli shook hands with Shaheen as the former Indian captain and the three Pakistani players could be spotted engaging in long chats filled with fun and laughter after both teams had finished their practice sessions.
The video also featured captain Rohit Sharma in conversation with Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, with the Pakistan skipper checking up on Rohit's family.
Mohammed Siraj and Haris Rauf could also be seen discussing bowling strategies in ODIs in the video.
Ahead of the ODI World Cup, Pakistan and India could potentially meet thrice in the marquee continental tournament. Given both sides finish in the top-2 of the group stage, they will meet in the Super Fours; conversely, a top-2 finish in the Super Fours will guarantee them a spot in the final as well.
India will meet Pakistan in an iconic group stage clash in the World Cup on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.