The ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 is just three days away with defending champions England scheduled to square off against the 2019 World Cup runners-up New Zealand in a rematch of the last World Cup's final. Ahead of the quadrennial showpiece, Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf recalled his net bowling stint for Team India in 2018-19 and praised Indian stalwart Virat Kohli's dedication towards the game.
During India's tour of Australia in 2018-19 for a Test, ODI, and T20I series, Pakistan's bowling spearhead Haris Rauf was the net bowler for Team India. Recently, Rauf talked about facing Indian star Virat Kohli in the nets in ESPNcricinfo’s documentary The Incredible Rise of Haris Rauf.
Rauf said, "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. 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."
The 29-year-old Rauf also revealed that South African legend Dale Steyn was his idol and the Pakistani seamer is inspired by Steyn's aggression. Rauf said, "I used to watch Dale Steyn and I liked the way he used to show aggression on the field after picking up a wicket. He inspired me to be aggressive on the field. That’s why he is my idol."
In the World Cup 2023, Pakistan will open their campaign against the Netherlands on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad while Team India will face Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in their opener. India and Pakistan are scheduled to face each other in the World Cup on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.