During the 2019 World Cup warm-up matches, Bangladesh speedster Mohammad Saifuddin had the opportunity of bowling to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. In the match at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, the 23-year-old was blown away on seeing his ‘dream cricketers’.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli joined hands after Mustafizur Rahman trapped Shikhar Dhawan in front of the wicket. While reminiscing the moment, Mohammad Saifuddin harked back on his hysterical conversation with the seasoned campaigner Rohit Sharma.
“During our practice match at Cardiff, Rohit Sharma was at the striker’s end with Virat Kohli as the non-striker. I told Rohit, ‘It’s been 10 to 12 years since I’ve been watching you guys on TV, both of you are our dream cricketers. Now I’m bowling to you and I don’t know what to do,’ told Saifuddin in an interview with BDcrictime.
I wanted to get the wicket of either Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli: Mohammad Saifuddin
Rohit Sharma wished Mohammad Saifuddin good luck. The fast bowler wanted to scalp either of the two and the 23-year-old sent Virat Kohli packing with a sharp delivery that shaped back into the right-hander, sending the Indian skipper's stumps cartwheeling in the process.
“Then Rohit laughed at me and said ‘Good luck’. Then I was trying to best to make sure that I get at least one of them out. Luckily I was able to dismiss Kohli,” Mohammad Saifuddin remarked.
Mohammad Saifuddin also eulogized Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for inspiring him while growing up. Despite many Bangladesh cricketers being involved in some heated brawls and contretemps with Indian players, Mohammad Saifuddin is of the view that he doesn’t want to sledge the two, bearing in mind that cricket is a gentleman’s game and is to be played within 'the spirit of the game'.
‘We don’t want to sledge them. We have grown up, seeing them play and we can’t imagine sledging them. Cricket is a gentleman’s game and should remain that way. Also, because there’s demerit points, we have to be careful,” the Bangladesh cricketer added.
Virat Kohli managed 47 off 46 and Rohit Sharma fell prey to Rubel Hossain in that practice game. However, courtesy of KL Rahul and MS Dhoni’s brilliant hundreds, India amassed 359 runs, and won the match by 95 runs.