Lucknow Super Giants pacer Naveen ul-Haq was targetted with relentless “Kohli, Kohli” chants during the Indian Premier League 2023 Eliminator against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, May 24 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. However, he remained unfazed by the chants and expressed that he enjoys them.
Naveen-ul-Haq was involved in an altercation with Virat Kohli in Lucknow earlier in the tournament. The duo had a heated exchange, following which the pacer has been taking sly indirect digs at Kohli through Instagram. However, on Wednesday, when Naveen-ul-Haq came to bowl in the Eliminator, he was greeted with chants of Virat Kohli. The pacer responded to the chants during his wicket celebrations by putting two fingers in his ears, symbolically drowning out the noise.
Talking about the “Kohli, Kohli” chants, the Lucknow Super Giants bowler said,
“I enjoy it (chanting). I like that everybody on the ground is chanting his name or any other player’s name. It gives me a passion to play well for my team.”
“I don’t concentrate on the outside noise. I just focus on my own cricket. It’s not like if the crowd is chanting or anyone is saying something… it doesn’t affect me. As professional sportsmen, you have to take it in your stride. One day you will not do your best for the team and these fans are going to give it to you. On another day, you’ll do a special thing for your team and the same people are going to chant your name,” he added.
In T20, you have to adjust quickly and be a step ahead of the batter: Naveen-ul-Haq
Naveen-ul-Haq pulled off a brilliant performance against the Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator of the 2023 Indian Premier League. He took crucial wickets, dismissing the likes of Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, and Cameron Green. The pacer finished the match with four wickets, and eleven overall in the season. Reflecting on the season, Naveen-ul-Haq acknowledged his performance. However, he expressed that the goal was to win the trophy. The pacer said,
“You assess the conditions. You see the conditions, what they offer. I think the pitch was offering a bit of help. It wasn’t like we were bowling 3-4 slower ones in an over but just to keep the batters guessing, you have to vary your pace and vary your line and length. It comes with T20, it’s a fast format and you have to adjust quickly and be a step ahead of the batter.”
“To be honest, it [his season] was good. We could’ve done better as a team. Individual performances don’t count. At the end of the day, our team’s goal was to win the trophy. My individual performance comes second. It was a good season for me, I learnt quite a few things from this IPL and hopefully (I’ll) come back stronger,” he added.
The Lucknow Super Giants lost by 81 runs to the Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator of the 2023 Indian Premier League. They failed to chase down 182, as they were bowled out for 101 runs. With this loss, they have been knocked out of the race to win the championship.
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