Pakistan have a better head-to-head record against India in the One-Day Internationals. But when it comes to the World Cup, the Men in Blue remain unscathed and have got the better of their arch-rivals every time. Though every victory for team India over Pakistan in the mega event has been special, the 2003 clash between the two countries has to be the most memorable one. India had chased down 274 with more than four overs to spare on the back of Sachin Tendulkar‘s superb 98-run knock.
The defeat is still on the mind of the former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar who feels Pakistan should’ve won that game with the bowling attack they possessed. He has now revealed that his fitness and poor captaincy played an important role in Pakistan’s loss and he had already indicated his teammates that they had posted 30-40 runs less with the bat. Rather Shoaib has termed it as the most disappointing match of his entire illustrious career.
“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,” he said in the latest video posted on his Youtube channel.
My left knee had gone numb
Shoaib Akhtar was struggling with his knee the night before the marquee encounter and had to take four to five injections on it to get ready to play. But due to the injections his knee had become numb and there was no sensation in it. “Because of the injections water had filled up in my left knee and there was no sensation in it.
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,” the Rawalpindi Express further quipped. Sachin Tendulkar had smacked the pace bowler for an outrageous six in his opening spell and after going for a lot of runs, the then captain Waqar Younis had taken him out of the attack.
However, Shoaib Akhtar redeemed himself later in the innings getting Sachin’s prized scalp bowling short and fast. “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. It was a bitter experience for me because we could have defeated India, both in 1999 and 2003, but we couldn’t,” Akhtar added.
Here’s the video:
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