Watch: Haris Rauf's priceless message to Virat Kohli over getting signed India jersey; 'Unse kaafi time se kaha tha'
Prior to the Indo-Pak fixture, players from both countries were seen exchanging pleasantries on the sidelines of their training sessions. Following India's win on Sunday, Virat Kohli gifted his signed jersey to Haris Rauf as the two shook hands after the star batter's gesture.
Emotions run high whenever India and Pakistan clash in a cricket match. The two reignited their rivalry with the hotly-anticipated Asia Cup 2022 Group B game on Sunday, where India claimed a five-wicket win, thanks to Hardik Pandya's all-round display in front of a jam-packed Dubai stadium. A week later, fans are set to witness another Indo-Pak contest as both sides face in the ‘Super 4’ round of the competition.
With bilateral cricket remaining suspended between the bitter neighbours, India and Pakistan play each other only in multi-team tournaments. The ‘arch-rivals’ tag, however, doesn't exist between current players, who seemed to have a great camaraderie off the field. Following India's win, Virat Kohli gifted his signed jersey to Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf as the two shook hands after the star batter's gesture.
Prior to the fixture, players from both countries were seen exchanging pleasantries on the sidelines of their training sessions. Kohli even had a brief chat with Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and injured pacer Shaheen Afridi.
“Game hai aur usey game ki tarah hi lete hai. Virat bhai jis tarah ke player hai... sabko pata hai jis tarah unhone apni country ke liye me perform kiya hua hai, woh legend hai (It is a game, and we take it as a game. Virat Kohli is a big player, the way he has performed for his country in international cricket, he is a legend of the game)," said Rauf during a press conference on Saturday.
“Unse kaafi kuch seekhno ko bhi milta hai. Aap senior players se baat kartey ho toh woh apna experience bataate hai, jissey kaafi kuch aap learn kartey ho. Baaki baat rahi shirt ki, unko ‘thanks’... unse kaafi time se kaha bhi tha shirt ka. Unhone match ke baad shirt di aur kaafi achha laga. (When you talk to him, you always learn a lot. He gave me a signed jersey, thanks to him. I had earlier spoken to him about getting a shirt, so he gave me after that match, it was really nice)”
Rauf said that Pakistan is ready for their second clash with India as both sides prepare for their next Asia Cup showdown, which headlines the 'Super 4' stage.
"We will try to bowl in their weak zone. The kind of swing we are getting on the pitch is great and the wicket is helping fast bowlers. We need to see the pitch and plan accordingly. My aim is to bowl as many dot balls as I can so that we can take wickets. Bowling dot balls can get you wickets," said Rauf.
Rauf also spoke about injury to Shaheen Afridi and insisted that Naseem Shah's bowling display has given him confidence in the tournament.
"The way Shaheen got injured we were thinking who will bowl with the new ball. He used to get us early wickets. But the way Naseem Shah is bowling we are happy.
"Partnerships are important in bowling as well. I have been playing with Shaheen for a while. I used to be relaxed when Shaheen is around. But seeing Naseem, I am getting the situation I am comfortable to bowl in," he said.