The rivalry between Virat Kohli and Naveen-ul-Haq took an all new turn on Wednesday as the fans at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai chanted the RCB’s batters in front of the pacer. The incident took place during the Eliminator match of IPL 2023 between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians, where the five-time champions emerged as the winners by 81 runs. The day turned out to be treat for the pacers as in the first innings, Naveen took a four-wicket haul and helped LSG restrict MI to 182/8. However, his efforts went in vain as Akash Madhwal outshined him and took a five-wicket haul and bundled out LSG at 101.
A video went viral on social media, where fans were seen chanting Kohli’s name to provoke Naveen, who was fielding at the long-on. However, the story took a different turn as instead of getting agitated, the pacer encouraged the crowd to chant loudly.
During the post-match press conference, Naveen said he enjoyed the “Kohli, Kohli” chants at the stadium on Wednesday as it gave him the passion to play well for his team.
“I enjoy it. I like everyone in the ground chanting his (Virat Kohli) name or any other player’s name. It gives me passion to play well for my team,” he said after his brilliant spell of 4/38 against MI, albeit in a losing cause. Well I don’t concentrate on the outside or the noise from outside or anything else. I just focus on my own cricket and my own process. Crowd chanting or anyone saying something doesn’t affect me,” said Naveen.
Notably, multiple on-field spats took place when the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Super Giants met each other on May 1. RCB batter Kohli had a verbal spat with Naveen-Ul-Haq, following which the home team’s mentor Gautam Gambhir also had an exchange with Virat.
Talking about MI, the Rohit Sharma-led side will now take on Gujarat Titans on Friday in the second Qualifier in Ahmedabad to decide on Chennai Super Kings’ opposition for the big final on Sunday.
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