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Legendary Australia captain and batsman Ricky Ponting said Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf will be enshrined in one of the T20 World Cup’s greatest moments ever, but for all the wrong reasons.
Explaining further, Ponting was talking about how India batsman Virat Kohli muscled a delivery from Rauf down the ground en route to helping lead India to a thrilling last-ball win.
Ponting admitted that what made the shot even more impressive was the fact that Kohli managed to hold his shape and follow through despite being deceived by the length of the ball.
“It’s going to go down as one of the most remembered and talked about shots probably in – I won’t say white-ball cricket history – but certainly T20 World Cup history,” he was quoted as saying by the ICC website.
“They would have known, having done the calculations, that it was going to have to be the spinner that was going to bowl the last over. That just goes to show how important the last two balls of the 19th over were. They had to get boundaries on those two or the game was done.
“What had sort of happened in the over previous as well, Virat was setting up for something that was going to be full. You’re setting up something for that full, that he could smack back down the ground off the front foot.
“He was almost half through his swing and then the length is not there, and he was good enough to hold his shape and find the middle and hit it far enough to get it not just over the fence.
“I mean, it wasn’t on the back foot, it was just a backfoot length ball. He sort of loaded up, his footwork was quite neutral when he hit it.”
Ponting pointed out that Kohli was able to pull off such a remarkable shot due to his outstanding fitness and core strength.
“He stood up on top of the bounce of the ball, and there’s a certain degree of skill involved in that but you’ve got to look at the strength involved in a shot like that as well,” the 48-year-old added.
“All that strength came through his core. You’ve got a steady base and the power to create and play that shot from there, comes through your core. We’ve seen him with his cricket gear off, he’s pretty fit.
“There’s a lot of other players that just wouldn’t have been strong enough through their core to do something like that but he’s one of the guys that can.”
Rauf is currently representing the Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and finished with figures of 1-37 off his four overs in the opening game against the Multan Sultans, which the Qalandars won by one run.
The Qalandars will be back in action on Sunday when they take on the Karachi Kings.
Lahore Qalandars Squad for PSL 8: Fakhar Zaman, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, David Wiese, Hussain Talat, Haris Rauf, Abdullah Shafique, Liam Dawson, Sikander Raza, Ahmad Daniyal, Dilbar Hussain, Harry Brook, Kamran Ghulam, Mirza Tahir Baig, Shawaiz Irfan, Zaman Khan, Jalat Khan and Jordan Cox, Ahsan Bhatti, Sam Billings, Shane Dadswell and Shai Hope