Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf reflected on Virat Kohli's heroics against the Men in Green when the two sides met in the T20 World Cup, stating that no other batter could have hit those two sixes. Rauf believes he would have been hurt had any other batter hit those maximums.
Kohli, who stayed unbeaten at 82 against the arch-rivals at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), took down Rauf in the crucial 19th over. The right-handed batter crafted two spectacular hits in the final two balls of the over to put India within sight of victory.
Speaking to Cricwick, the right-arm bowler stated that Kohli's class reflected off those shots and said.
"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 a shot like that 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."
The 28-year-old explained his strategy while keeping in mind that Mohammad Nawaz had to bowl the final over and said:
"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.
"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."
Chasing a stiff 160, the Men in Blue were teetering at 31-4 in the powerplay. However, Kohli joined hands with Hardik Pandya to stitch together a 113-run stand to bring India back into the game. The Men in Blue prevailed by four wickets in a dramatic final over.
"My plan and execution was fine but that shot was all class" - Haris Rauf
Rauf, who bagged two wickets in the game, admitted that his plans and execution were spot on but Kohli was too good on the day. He explained:
"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."
The win proved to be India's 13th over Pakistan in all World Cup matches, with the Men in Green winning only one.