IPL 2023: Chennai fans tease Naveen-ul-Haq with 'Kohli' chants, LSG pacer motivates them to cheer louder
Notably, Virat Kohli and Naveen were involved in a heated exchange when LSG hosted RCB in Lucknow
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During Wednesday's IPL 2023 Eliminator game between the Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians, supporters at Chennai's MA Chidambaram stadium once again targetted LSG pacer Naveen-ul-Haq by chanting Virat Kohli's name. Since their distinctive on-field altercation during the LSG vs RCB league match this season on May 1, Naveen-ul-Haq has been the target of taunts from Virat Kohli fans whenever and wherever LSG play.
Fans at Chepauk can be heard chanting "Kohli, Kohli" to torment the LSG bowler when he walked near the boundary rope in a video that has gone viral on social media. Naveen, in contrast, came up with a worthy answer to incite Virat fans even more, motivating them to yell louder, rather than expressing displeasure or becoming irritated.
Gautam Gambhir was also mocked when his team lost to Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2023 Eliminator, so it wasn't just Naveen who was singled out. Gambhir did not make a gesture in response to the crowd, unlike Naveen, but instead appeared unconcerned and at ease while paying no attention to any of them.
After Lucknow's devastating 81-run loss against MI, Naveen was questioned about the chants in the post-match press conference, to which he gave a shocking reply saying:
"I enjoy it. I like everyone on the ground chanting his (Virat Kohli) name or any other player's name. It gives me the passion to play well for my team. 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."
"As professional sportsmen, you have to take this in your stride. When you don't do well for your team, fans are going to give it to you. And when you do good for your team, (the) same people are going to chant your name. Basically, this is part and parcel of the game," he added.
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