Shoaib Akhtar made a subtle jab at the Pakistani speedster’s then-captain Waqar Younis for taking him out of the attack after Sachin Tendulkar smashed him for 18 runs in his first over.
On August 28, in a highly anticipated match of the men’s Asia Cup 2022, Team India will face Pakistan.
For the first match in almost a year, the two teams will resume their rivalry; Babar Azam’s team defeated India in their most recent meeting at the 2021 T20 World Cup by a margin of 10 wickets. By coincidence, the Asia Cup game is played at the same location (Dubai International Stadium).
In the days leading up to the game, cricket enthusiasts and former players from both teams have been reliving some of the memorable matches between the two bitter rivals. Earlier this week, Star Sports posted a video of Pakistan’s speed sensation Shoaib Akhtar telling a tale from the 2003 World Cup match between the two teams.
Widely regarded as one of the best matches between India and Pakistan, the Sourav Ganguly-led team defeated the men in green in Centurion with a commanding six-wicket victory, maintaining their perfect record in World Cup matches.
The legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar put on a masterful performance, striking 98 runs off just 75 deliveries as India successfully chased down a 274-run mark with six wickets remaining.
‘I was in a hospital 1.5 days before the match’: Shoaib Akhtar
Tendulkar’s early carnage against Akhtar is a famous part of the game; the master blaster’ scored 18 runs off the speedster’s first over, and Akhtar was then taken off the attack in the first few overs.
The former Pakistan pacer made a significant assertion about Waqar Younis, who was the team’s captain at the time, and disclosed that he had only been hospitalized for 1.5 days before the match.
“I spent 1.5 days in the hospital before the game. On my knee, it was either the 25th or 26th injection. I mentioned to the captain that I am having some trouble bowling and that I am not fully appreciating it,” Akhtar stated on Star Sports.
“If Imran Khan had been there, he would have said, ‘Tu bhaag ke aa aur Sirf bodyline bowling kara” (pointing towards the head). Toh maarne de, 6 chakke maarta hai. Ek wicket chahiye hamein. ‘Ek to mishit Hoga hi’ (You simply run fast and bowl. Aim for his head. You bowl even if you get hit for six sixes.”
“All we need is a wicket. At the very least, one mishit will occur). But what occurred? I was taken out of the attack. I was hit for a six and then taken out.”
“We would have won half the battle if I had dismissed Sehwag and Sachin there. I liked the fastest bowler tag, but I was looking for wickets,” Akhtar explained.
Shoaib Akhtar eventually finished his quota of 10 overs, conceding 72 runs for Tendulkar’s wicket.
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