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Friday, May 14, 2021

Shoaib Akhtar explains why he was ‘very sad’ when Sachin Tendulkar got out for 98 in 2003 WC

Sachin Tendulkar's 98 against Pakistan in 2003 World Cup was special, according to Shoaib Akhtar.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: May 21, 2020 11:15:51 am
Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed for 98 by Shoaib Akhtar. (File/Reuters)

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been in the limelight over the past few weeks for some of his eye-catching statements. Keeping up with the trend, the Rawalpindi Express has now come out and said that he was very sad after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar for 98 in the 2003 World Cup match between India and Pakistan.

Tendulkar’s 98 is arguably considered one of the best ODI knocks played by the former batsman which helped India chase down a challenging 274 against their arch-rivals.

One moment from that encounter that is forever etched in the minds of every Indian fan is Tendulkar’s memorable six off Shoaib over the deep square region.

However, as the little master approached his century, Akhtar bowled a bouncer that got the better of Tendulkar, who was battling cramps and batting with a runner.

Almost 17 years later, Shoaib has now come out and said that he did feel remorse for Tendulkar after his dismissal.

“I was very sad because Sachin got out for 98. It was a special inning; he should have touched the century mark. I wanted him to slam the ton. For that bouncer, I may have loved to see him hit a six, as he did it before,” Akhtar said during a Helo Live session.

“Tendulkar batted in the toughest era of cricket. If he had to get the chance now, he may hit more than 1.30 lakh runs. So it’s not good to make a comparison between Sachin and Kohli,” Akhtar, a veteran of 46 Tests and 163 ODIs, said.

Earlier, in a video posted on his YouTube channel, Akhtar had revealed how his fitness and poor captaincy from then skipper Waqar Younis had resulted in Pakistan’s loss in the same match.

“The most disappointing match for me in my entire career was the 2003 World Cup match against India at Centurion. We had failed to defend a target of 274 despite having a very good bowling line-up,” said Akhtar.

“After the end of our innings, I told my teammates that we have probably scored 30-40 runs less. However, all the players in the team shouted at me saying if ‘273 is not enough then what is’. They said we will be able to get India all out. However, I knew that the pitch was a good one for batting and it will remain so in the second innings as well.”

“When we started the bowling, I noticed that my left knee had gone numb. Because of which, I wasn’t able to run properly through my bowling run-up. As a result I was not able to bowl properly. Indian openers, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, went for the charge from the word go. In fact, Sachin played me very well and even hit me for a six over point.

“I had no clue how to bowl and get the breakthrough. Unfortunately, the captain (Waqar Younis) got me out of the attack. He brought me later in the innings where I just bowled fast and short. I got out Sachin at 98 on a short-pitched delivery. I told the captain that I should have persisted with such bowling from the very beginning. In the end we lost the match,” he added.

“It was a bitter experience for me because we could have defeated India, both in 1999 and 2003, but we couldn’t. Not to take the credit away from India who have played us exceeding well at the World Cups,” he further added.

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