The on-field tension and nervousness are always escalating when India lock horns with arch-rival Pakistan in a cricket fixture regardless of the venue. It is evident in players from both the sides and this often leads to them making silly errors during the course of the match.
Recalling one such incident, former India pacer Ashish Nehra has said that Sachin Tendulkar’s 85-run knock against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semifinal was the ‘scratchiest’ innings of his career. The former cricketer added that the batting legend himself is aware of this, considering the number of chances he got on the given day.
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“Needless to say, even Sachin Tendulkar himself knows how lucky he was in that game. It was one of his scratchiest innings you’ll see. Whenever you’ve seen Tendulkar scoring even 40, you will see bad decisions or catches being dropped. But not that many and luck going your way that much,” Nehra said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast.
“See when you talk about a World Cup, whether it’s India-Pakistan, India-England, or any other team, it’s all pressure. You’ve reached the semifinal, you’re a good team but in the end, it’s all down to how you handle pressure,” Nehra further stated.
Tendulkar’s pivotal 85 against Pakistan, which also was the highest individual score from the contest, helped India set a stiff 261-run target for their opponent. However, the right-handed-batsman was then given four lucky chances after he dropped on 27, 45, 70 and 81 by Misbah ul Haq, Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal, respectively.
In response, Zaheer Khan along with Nehra, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh rocked the Pakistan batting line-up, with the Men in Green getting bundled up on 231. All the bowlers shared two wickets each, as India progressed to the finals, and later ending the tournament as world champions.