Raees reveals his ‘dream’ encounter with Virat Kohli
Dubai :There have been very few bowlers who have troubled Virat Kohli on a consistent basis. He has fallen to James Anderson five times in Tests, four of those in English conditions on a forgettable 2014 tour for the world’s No.2 ranked Test batsman.
Last year, Nathan Coulter-Nile caused Kohli plenty of trouble with his wicket three times in the ODI series in September-October 2017.
The Indian captain has even said Mohammad Amir worries him most when he’s at the crease.
And now, Rumman Raees, the 26-year-old left-arm pacer from Pakistan, hopes to outfox Kohli whenever an opportunity arises.
“I still haven’t bowled to Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. But I have bowled to Kane Williamson. It’s very difficult to get him out. He has a very compact technique. But I managed to get him out four times. And then you have Hashim Amla, one of the greatest of all-time. It was a good learning curve bowling to him.
“I’m not here to issue a challenge but I hope to get the better of Kohli, Smith and AB de Villiers whenever I get a chance to bowl to them. It would be a great feeling,” Raees, who has played nine ODIs and eight T20 internationals, said in an interview.
Recently, Adil Rashid (30) and Alex Hales (29) became the first England players to turn their back on first-class cricket after signing a white-ball only deal with their respective clubs. This also gives them a chance to participate in various T20 competitions.
It’s understandable that big money is involved in such leagues and Rashid and Hales’ decision could well become a trend in years to come.
Asked if he would travel the same path in future, Raees — who is relatively new to international cricket — said he prefers the limited-overs format but is adamant to play Test cricket for a long time.
“There’s a lot of cricket played now. The demand of ODI and T20 cricket has increased,” he said.
“But for me, Test cricket is the ultimate format. I personally want to play all three formats. I am a part of the ODI and T20 setup. For Tests, I’ll have to work my fitness a lot more, work on my pace and then only I’ll stand a chance to get selected.”
Asked how big a role the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has played in shaping up his career, Raees said:
“It has been a magnificent experience. I got selected in the Pakistan team because of PSL. Viewers get to see some quality cricket. It is a well-disciplined league.
“Playing in PSL has helped me deal with pressure. I feel a lot more composed at the international stage now. Plus the experience of senior pros helps a lot,” Raees, who took 2/44 in his ODI debut for Pakistan against England in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, added.
Asked how he sees the competition in Pakistan’s pace attack, Raees said, “We have six left-armers including myself (Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Usman Khan Shinwari). And then we have Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf. You need to respect the competition. It’s all about performing to the best of your ability.”