India’s legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar is known for breaking many records. Sachin was able to tick the right boxes in his career and played with great class. Some of Sachin’s shots are still fresh in the aficionados’ minds, like the straight drive and the backfoot punches. One of the shots that Sachin Tendulkar is famously remembered for is the uppercut six he hit off the bowling of Pakistan’s former gun pacer Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup match.
Former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif recalled that famous shot which gave goosebumps to the billions of followers. Kaif stated that there was hardly any chink in Tendulkar’s armor and thus he was rarely dismissed through bowled and leg-before-wicket.
Sachin Tendulkar was on song
India was to chase a competitive total of 274 runs against a potent Pakistan bowling battery which had bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, and Shoaib Akhtar.
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However, Sachin who was at the top of his powers in the 2003 World Cup, scored a whirlwind knock of 98 runs off just 75 balls, with that upper-cut six over the third man being the highlight of his innings. India went on to win the match as they chased down the tricky target with six wickets in hand.
Akhtar went on to have an expensive spell as he conceded 72 runs in his 10 overs. The express fast bowler bowled an unplayable bouncer to get rid of Sachin and denied him the chance to get to his century.
“The six he hit of Shoaib Akhtar over point and the flick after that to fine-leg for a boundary… that is Sachin’s strength that he never gets LBW, he never missed the ball. That is why he was such a great batsman because the bowler has that weapon to bring the ball in and get the batsman bowled or LBW, that happened to Sachin very few times in his career,” Kaif said on the Watch Along with episode of India vs Pakistan 2003 match on Star Sports.
“The six over point, the iconic shot that is shown, again and again, is a shot he never plays. Very rarely have we seen him playing that shot. I have seen him punch the ball or hitting shots on the rise but that uppercut, with his heavy bat playing against a bowler who is bowling at over 150 kph is a very difficult shot.”
In fact, Mohammad Kaif had the best seat in the house to watch the magnum opus knock of Sachin Tendulkar. Kaif himself scored 35 runs off 60 balls and added 102 runs for the third-wicket partnership with Sachin, to get India close to their target.
Sachin went on to score 673 runs in 11 matches of the 2003 World Cup at an impressive average of 61.18 but the team could not cross the last hurdle against the Australian juggernauts.
Meanwhile, 30 years ago today, Sachin scored his maiden Test century at Old Trafford, Manchester against England.