Naveen-ul-Haq in ‘Kohli, Kohli’ sings: I enjoy, it gives me passion to play well for my team

Naveen-ul-Haq in ‘Kohli, Kohli’ sings: I enjoy, it gives me passion to play well for my team
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By India Today Sports Desk: Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) pacemaker Naveen-ul-Haq has been the subject of incessant taunts and chants of ‘Kohli, Kohli’ by fans at IPL 2023 for the past 25 days.

The furor began after a heated exchange with RCB stalwart Virat Kohli during their match on May 1 in Lucknow. The fans took it upon themselves to mock Naveen every time he took the field, but the player managed to remain unfazed.

During the Eliminator against the Mumbai (MI) Indians, the crowd continued to jeer as Naveen took the ball. However, he silenced the chants by dismissing IM starter Rohit Sharma with a catch in coverage.

IPL Eliminator: LSG vs MI highlights

Naveen from Afghanistan celebrated by putting two fingers in her ears, symbolically drowning out the noise. This back and forth taunt between the crowd and Naveen became the highlight of the first few innings.

When asked about the chants, Naveen expressed his delight in the atmosphere, saying it fueled his passion to perform well for his team. He stressed the need for professional athletes to handle such situations and not let external noise affect his game.

“I enjoy it (singing),” Naveen said at the post-match press conference. “I like everyone on the field to chant his name or any other player’s name. It gives me passion to play well for my team.”

“I don’t focus on the outside noise. I just focus on my own cricket. It’s not like the crowd is singing or someone is saying something… it doesn’t affect me. As professional sportsmen, you have to accept that.” one day you’re not going to give your best for the team and these fans are going to give it to you, another day you’re going to do something special for your team and the same people are going to chant your name,” added Naveen.

Despite the theatrics, Naveen performed well throughout the season, finishing with a total of 11 wickets, including four in the Eliminator against MI. His crucial holdings included Suryakumar Yadav and Cameron Green, who were in a dominant partnership. Naveen used his variations effectively, including well-executed cuts and rhythm changes.

Although LSG’s batting lineup faltered in their quest to make Qualifier 2, Naveen’s impressive 4-for-38 spell kept his team in the game. Reflecting on his season, he acknowledged individual success but prioritized the team goal of winning the trophy.

“You look at the conditions. You see the conditions, what they offer. I think the court was offering a little bit of help,” Naveen said. “It wasn’t like we were bowling 3 or 4 slower bowling in an over, but just to keep the batsmen 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 adapt quickly and stay one step ahead of the batter.

“To be honest, it’s [his season] It was good. We could have done better as a team. Individual performances do not 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 learned quite a lot from this IPL and I hope [I’ll] come back stronger,” Naveen said.


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