Former Pakistan seamer Mohammad Asif has recalled some of the glorious moments from his nation’s clash against India in the 2006 Test series. The India-Pakistan Test series are arguably one of the entertaining ones to watch and the one held in 2006 adds to the folklore. Mohammad Asif remembered the headache they had ahead of bowling to a strong Indian batting line-up.
India toured Pakistan in 2006 to play a five-match ODI series and a three-match Test rubber. While the tourists won the 50-over games comfortably by 4-1, a hard-fought Test rubber ended in Pakistan’s favour by 1-0. After the first two finished in a draw, the hosts won the third Test in Karachi where Irfan Pathan took a Test hat-trick, but it was not enough to prevent a victory.
Mohammad Asif underlined that it was an amazing feeling to beat such a batting-heavy team. The former Pakistan cricketer remembered the time when Shoaib Akhtar looked at the team sheet and was baffled to find MS Dhoni arriving at number seven or eight. The camp looked at India’s batting line-up and was clueless as to how the Pakistan bowlers were going to get them out since all of them had at least 15-20K runs and an aggregate of 1.5 lakh runs.
“No doubt it was a great feeling. It was such a batting-heavy team. I remember when Shoaib bhai and I looked at the team sheet, he was like ‘who all are we going to get out’. At No 7 or 8 was Dhoni. We looked at the line up and we said ‘how are we going to get them out’. Because I think all these players across formats would have combined to score a lakh or 1.5 lakh runs between them. Everyone had at least 15-20K runs,” Asif told Kamran Akmal in an interaction in the latter’s Youtube channel.
He couldn’t get wickets but he set the stage for my wickets: Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif, who took seven wickets in that match, praised Shoaib Akhtar for bowling with venom and the deadly bouncers. It enabled the 38-year old to take advantage of it by pitching the ball up that put the Indian batsmen in two minds. Asif hailed Akhtar for putting the tourists’ batsmen under pressure due to which the wickets followed.
“Shoaib bhai I remember had bowled to the Indian batsmen with a lot of pace. He had started bowling those deadly bouncers, full of pace from Faisalabad itself. And I took advantage of it. Because of his bouncers, Indian players were playing on the backfoot and since I pitched the ball forward, they were in two minds. He was extremely quick in that match. He couldn’t get wickets but he set the stage for my wickets,” he added.