Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in his recent interview maintained that they should have given a thought or so – to bodyline bowling attack much before when Sachin Tendulkar was taken Pakistan bowlers to cleaners in the 2003 World Cup.
The star bowler believed despite poor fielding believes they could have got rid of Tendulkar way too early, had they decided to attack the Indian batsmen.
Shoaib Akhtar on bodyline bowling:
The Rawalpindi Express further reckons that on placid surfaces where things would be difficult for bowlers, they should resort to bodyline bowling in a bid to unsettle the batsmen.
“At the most, I would have got hit for 2 sixes in an over, so what would have happened. I could have still picked up a wicket. The same bodyline bowling I did in the second spell, I got Sachin’s wicket,” Shoaib Akhtar revealed in a YouTube show ‘Cricket Baaz.
Given to the strategy, Shoaib remarked that he realised it after the game that they should have attacked the batsmen in a bid to get help from the pitch.
“I realised after that match that when the wicket is so easy, then you should do bodyline bowling. I should have gone just to hit the batsman,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
It becomes important to maintain that Sachin scored crucial 98 in the all-important clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in 2003. Interestingly, he was dismissed by Shoaib after he opted for short-pitch deliveries during his second spell of bowling.
Besides, Shoaib Akhtar was asked what had left him saddened whether it was 2003 World Cup loss or the 1999 World Cup grand finale loss against Australia.
In response, Shoaib, who’s known for his nonchalant approach clarified that every loss becomes hard to digest; however, he would pick 1999 World Cup loss as a sheer disappointment because it was the final.
“The disappointment is there for every match you lose. It was obviously more for 1999, the 2003 World Cup encounter against India was a league match,” Shoaib maintained.
Shoaib Akhtar on World Cup losses:
Speaking about 2003 loss during the group stage fixture, Shoaib asserted that they were 30 runs short on a surface which proved as a belter of a surface for batsmen. He further hailed Indian batsmen for playing quite well.
During the 2003 World Cup Shoaib Akhtar gave away 72 runs in 10 overs for a solitary wicket of Tendulkar.
“I felt that our score was less on that wicket. We were 25-30 runs below par because the pitch was very flat but India played well. Sachin played very well, he got dismissed on 98 off my bowling,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
Shoaib maintained that he might have conceded a couple of sixes which he even opted for, but too late with a short-pitched delivery to undone Tendulkar. He further believes it is the part and parcel of the game when it comes to making mistakes.
He subsequently suggested to youngsters that if nothing is going to work then on placid surfaces then they should opt for attacking the body of a batsman.
“This is the part of the process that I want to deliver to the youngsters, that if nothing is happening, then the batsman has a body. You should break it,” Shoaib Akhtar stated.
Back in 2003, India eventually won the game by six wickets after Pakistan set a target of 274.