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World Cup 2003

No One Can Stop Him: Aakash Chopra Recalls Ashish Nehra's Heroic Against England In World Cup 2003
Ashish Nehra celebrating after picking wicket against England in World Cup 2003. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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‘Long Live, Nehra Ji’: Aakash Chopra Recalls Ashish Nehra’s Heroic Against England In World Cup 2003

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has recalled an inside story of the match between India and England during the World Cup 2003. In that match, India attained victory because of Ashish Nehra’s masterpiece. But Chopra has revealed the struggle behind Nehra’s performance on the match day. The pacer was badly injured but he decided to play against England.

Sourav Ganguly-led India comfortably defended their 251 runs target against England and won the match by 82 runs. But all thanks to Ashish Nehra’s outstanding bowling. He picked up six wickets, including England captain Nasser Hussain, Micahel Vaughan, Alec Stewart, Paul Collingwood, Craig White, and Ronnie Irani. And became the only Indian bowler to register a six-wicket haul in World Cup.

No one can stop Ashish Nehra: Aakash Chopra

Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra against England in World Cup 2003. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Chopra, in his YouTube Channel, revealed that Nehra was suffering from an injury in his leg. The pacer had a swollen leg but his strong will to play for India against England could not halt him even though the injury could have become worse. Aakash Chopra said that nobody could stop the tall and lanky speedster if he decided to play. 

“But wait, you know this story, already right? Let me take you to the flashback, behind the scenes. This heavily swollen leg kept inside a bucket of ice… who is it? This is the same Ashish Nehra who, the very next day, stepped out on the field to rattle England batting unit with a swollen leg. As we say, there is nothing greater than a person’s will. Not even injuries. If Nehra ji has decided that he will play against England, then no one can stop him,” Chopra recalled.

Nehra kept his swollen leg inside the bucket for hours. He taped and bandaged that leg and got ready to play. With the captain’s faith and self-believe, the former cricketer didn’t wonder in Durban pitch. 

“So, Nehra filled a buck full of ice and kept his heavily swollen leg inside the bucket for hours. The next day, he heavily taped and bandaged his swollen leg, and wore thick, tight socks. Even though it was even difficult for him to wear his shoes, he still got ready, stood up and went off to the field. With Dada’s faith in him and his self-believe, Nehra Ji achieved wonders which no one expected.

Ashish Nehra,
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Aakash Chopra said that Ashish Nehra’s unique feat might be broken in the coming years but his passion and not giving up attitude is hard to match. 

“Nehra took a 6-wicket haul – a feat which no other Indian bowler has been able to achieve during a World Cup game. The thing to remember here is that the records will continue to be broken. The real story is that of the passion, and not giving up. An injury can affect your body, but not your determination. Long Live, Nehra ji,” Chopra signed off.

As far as the World Cup 2003 tournament is concerned, India faced defeat against Australia in the grand-finale. Ashish Nehra retired from international cricket in 2017 after playing 17 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 27 T20Is for India.

Sourav Ganguly, NatWest Grand-Finale
Sourav Ganguly and Co. at Lord's Balcony. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Independence Day Special: 5 Matches When Indian Team Embarrassed England On The Field

After India became an independent country on 15th August 1947, they slowly grew up in cricket. India won their first-ever international cricket match against England in 1952 during the Chennai Test. It took a lot of time for the Indian team to learn how to handle one of the oldest international cricket teams England and slowly but steadily the Asian side improved their game and gradually became the competitive side against the English side.

In the 21st century, India and England are the very competitive sides, while the Indian team has also managed to dominate the English side at home.

Independence Day Special: Here are the top five matches when the Indian team embarrassed the England team on the field

Victory during their Group Stage meeting in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003

Indian, England, Independence Day, When Indian Team Embarrassed England On The Field
Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images

It was the crucial Group A match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 between India and England at Durban on 26th February 2003. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and chose to bat first in that day/night match. Among the Indian batsmen, the in-form opener Sachin Tendulkar (50 runs), wicket-keeper batsman Rahul Dravid (62 runs) and middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh (42 runs) scored crucial runs that helped the Indian team to manage the first innings total of 250/9 (50 overs).

England batsmen were struggling from the beginning of the second innings as they lost both their openers (Nick Knight 1 and Marcus Trescothick 8) in the first seven overs. Though the next batsmen tried hard to handle that situation, England batting faced massive collapse after the young left-arm Indian pacer Ashish Nehra was introduced into the attack. Nehra was dominating with the ball in hand as the English batsmen had no clue how to handle that Indian youngster.

Though Andrew Flintoff tried to put some fight back in the late moment of that match, they were too far from the target. While Flintoff scored 64 runs off 73 balls, England were bowled out for 168 runs (45.3 overs) and India won that match by 82 runs. The Player of the Match Nehra finished that match with the dominating bowling figures of 10-2-23-6.

World Cup, Adam gilchrist, Six Batsmen Who Scored Century In World Cup's Grand-Finale
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Six Batsmen Who Slammed A Century In World Cup Finals

Every cricketer’s dream is to contribute his best to help them lift the World Cup trophy. He always wants to be part of the winning cause. In this regard, a batsman who registers a three-digit score in the grand-finale gets immense pleasure. His century can change the whole scenario for the team.

It builds confidence in the team and also guides them to victory. But sometimes, his effort might even go in vain. Here, in this article, we have discussed the players six batsmen who scored a century in world cup’s grand-finale

Mahela Jayawardene vs India: 103 runs

Mahela Jayawardene,
Mahela Jayawardene. Image Credit: Getty Images.

In the World Cup 2011, India had early success in the grand-finale against Sri Lanka as the opening partners Upul Tharanga, and Tillakaratne Dilshan lost their wicket within 16 overs.

But Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene took the command of the game. They both build pressure on India’s side and added 60 runs before Sangakkara lost his wicket in 28th over. However, Jayawardene continued the innings and smacked the bowlers. He went on to register a century but lost his wicket soon after that. He scored 103 runs off 88 balls, striking thirteen fours. His innings led the Islanders to set up the target of 275 runs.

However, Jayawardene’s innings went into vain as India lifted the trophy after MS Dhoni hit the winning six.