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‘If I had dismissed Sehwag and Sachin there….’ – Shoaib Akhtar takes a sly dig at Waqar Younis while recalling the iconic 2003 India-Pakistan World Cup Game

Ahead of the Asia Cup encounter between India and Pakistan, the fans and former cricketers from both sides are reliving some of the epic encounters between the two arch-rivals.
Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar
Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar- Source (Twitter)

Team India will take on Pakistan in the big match of the men’s Asia Cup 2022 on August 28th. Both sides will be drawing swords for the first time in almost a year. Babar Azam’s men cruised to a 10-wicket victory in their last meeting against India in the 2021 20-20 World Cup. Incidentally, the Asia Cup game takes place at the same venue i.e., the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Ahead of the game, the fans and former cricketers from both sides are reliving some of the epic encounters between the two arch-rivals. Earlier this week, Star Sports shared a video of Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar narrating a story from the clash between both sides in the 2003 World Cup.

Widely regarded as one of the landmark games between India and Pakistan, the Sourav Ganguly-led side had registered a dominating six-wicket win over the Waqar Younis-led side in Centurion, keeping their unbeaten record in the World Cup encounters intact. India’s batting great Sachin Tendulkar produced a stupendous batting performance, scoring 98 off just 75 balls as India chased down a 274-run target with six wickets to spare.

“I was in a hospital 1.5 days before the match. It was my 25th or 26th injection on my knee. I told the captain that I’m having some difficulty bowling, I’m not enjoying it to the fullest,” Akhtar said on Star Sports.

“If Imran Khan was there, he would have told me, ‘Tu bhaag ke aa aur sirf bodyline bowling kar (pointing towards head). 6 chakke maarta hai toh maarne de. Hamein ek wicket chahiye. Ek toh mishit hoga hi’ (You just keep running fast and bowl. Target his head. Even if you get hit for six sixes, you bowl. We only need a wicket. There will be one mishit at the very least). But what actually happened? I was removed from the attack. I was hit for a six and then I was removed.

“If I had dismissed Sehwag and Sachin there, we would’ve already won half the battle. I liked the fastest bowler tag, but I wanted wickets,” Akhtar said.

The pacer, eventually, completed his full quota of 10 overs, and gave away 72 runs while taking the wicket of Tendulkar.

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