IND vs PAK: Shoaib Akhtar stirs emotions with MCG flashback ahead of blockbuster T20 World Cup 2024 showdown

Published - 08 Jun 2024, 06:09 PM | Updated - 08 Jun 2024, 06:19 PM

Shoaib Akhtar and Virat Kohli
Shoaib Akhtar and Virat Kohli. Image Credit: X

As the big stage set for the India-Pakistan clash in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024, legendary Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar recalled the memorable yet nail-biting encounter between the arch-rivals at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MSG) in 2022.

The 2022 T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan unfolded in a rollercoaster of emotions for millions of fans worldwide, and Virat Kohli single-handedly won the game for the Men in Blue at the packed MCG stadium in Australia.

India had won that match by four wickets, thanks to Kohli’s one of the greatest innings of unbeaten 82 off 53 balls, after the match almost slipped away from the 2007 champions’ hand against the Pakistan cricket team at the MCG.

Shoaib Akhtar recalls iconic India-Pakistan clash at MCG ahead of T20 World Cup 2024 showdown

However, the heroics of Kohli, who smashed crucial sixes off Harris Rocks, revived India's hopes and won the game. After Hardik Pandya’s departure on 40, tension gripped spectators, but Indian off-spinner R Ashwin's calmness under pressure shone through against Pakistan.

Ashwin showed great presence of mind during Mohammad Nawaz's wide delivery, enabling India to inch closer to victory. His last shot sealed the game for the Indian cricket team, allowing fans across the world to take a sigh of relief.

Now, ahead of India vs Pakistan clash in New York on Sunday, June 9, Shoaib Akhtar echoed the sentiments of millions of fans worldwide while recalling Kohli’s heroics and India’s memorable win over Pakistan at the MCG, which witnessed an electric atmosphere with over 100,000 spectators and millions glued to their screens.

Akhtar, reflecting on the match, emphasized the wildness of the India-Pakistan rivalry. He also recalled the memories of his iconic delivery to Sachin Tendulkar at Eden Gardens. Akhtar stressed that the contest between the two teams is not for the faint-hearted but for those who aspire to greatness. He described that match as the moment Kohli reclaimed his kingdom.

IND vs PAK contest is not for the faint-hearted: Shoaib Akhtar

The Rawalpindi Express further emphasized the significance of bravery and skill in such high-stakes encounters, saying those who seek to make a name for themselves or aspire to become superstars thrive in such conditions and etch their names in the record books like Kohli.

Shoaib Akhtar was quoted as saying by RevSportz: “If you're brave enough, you're going to enjoy that contest. If you're coward, if you're, if you like to be bullied, hey, this contest is not for the faint-hearted. This is the contest of people who just actually want themselves a big name, wants them, want them to be a superstar or if you want to become big, do well, then you know what is the is the place called Eden Garden, where I got Sachin out on the first ball.”

Akhtar also said that the Pakistan cricket team has nothing to lose, so he advised them to just go and enjoy their time against India in New York, as the Indian crowd is so amazing and has given them respect with their show. He also demands the Pakistan team beat India in their T20 World Cup 2024 match.

Tagged:

ICC T20 World Cup 2024 India National Cricket Team Pakistan national cricket team Shoaib Akhtar Virat Kohli IND vs PAK ICC T20 World Cup