Venkatesh Prasad and Aamir Sohail’s face-off is one of the most-talked-about episodes in the folklore of India vs Pakistan World Cup clashes. Prasad took three wickets for 45 runs in the quarter-final clash at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. But it was his duel with Sohail that continues to remain fresh in the memory of fans and players alike.
Chasing 288, Sohail helped Pakistan get off to a brisk start. In the 15th over, he smashed a boundary off the former India fast bowler and sledged Prasad by pointing a finger and the direction in which he hit the ball. Prasad responded in the next delivery when he sent the southpaw’s stumps flying and gave his own send-off.
However, former Pakistan captain and coach Waqar Younis revealed on Friday that Sohail’s behaviour had left him and Pakistani players in the dressing room startled.
“To be very honest, we were shocked by the way he [Sohail] was behaving on the field. He was tonking the ball all over the park, why did he need to do that? I guess, the pressure got to him,” Waqar said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast.
“He batted superbly, he was looking really good and I think he scored 55 off not many deliveries (55 off 46). And Saeed Anwar also. We lost our first wicket when Pakistan were 85-odd (84) in the first ten overs. We were cruising, and then once we lost Saeed Anwar and then Aamir Sohail straightaway, it just went wrong.”
“Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ijaz Ahmed, they went into a shell. And full credit should be given to Anil Kumble, when he came in and Prasad came in for his second spell, he sort of started nipping the ball a little bit. And Pakistan got so much pressure and once we lost Ijaz and Inzamam within an over or so, it became very very difficult,” Waqar said.
“We made quite a few mistakes in that game. Javed Miandad was there, he could have gone in at number four but we kept him at number six, there was no use because he was approaching the end of his career. We kept him for very late, he should have batted at number four. Overall, a good game for cricket and India were well-deserved winners.”
Meanwhile, Prasad in a recent interview with Boria Majumdar revealed that a day hasn’t gone by since March 9, 1996, that someone hasn’t asked about Aamer Sohail’s dismissal in the 1996 World Cup quarter-final match.
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