Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has played several memorable innings in his career across formats. Of all the countries, his knocks against Australia and Pakistan remain unforgettable since the former was the strongest team during the most part of his career. On the other hand, India shared a fiery feud with Pakistan and World Cups were the time when emotions were at a high.
Sachin Tendulkar has played in all the 50-over World Cup games against Pakistan from 1992 to 2011. Perhaps his most iconic innings against them was 98 that he mustered in the 2003 edition. Sachin Tendulkar bravely faced the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, and Abdul Razzaq, manhandling them. Furthermore, his six over backward point off Shoaib Akhtar remains entrenched into the minds of the people.
On the Star Sports’ Watch Along episode of India vs Pakistan 2003 match, Mohammad Kaif talked about that shot in detail. Mohammad Kaif underlined that it is a shot that the 47-year old hardly plays. While he punches and hitting the ball on the rise, rarely ever Kaif claims to have seen the uppercut played by him. The 39-year old went on to say that it is quite challenging to play such a strike over a bowler, who regularly fires at 150 kph.
“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 upper cut, with his heavy bat playing against a bowler who is bowling at over 150 kph is a very difficult shot,” Kaif stated.
That is why Sachin Tendulkar was such a great batsman: Mohammad Kaif
The retired cricketer added by stating that the shot over point and the flick shot to fine leg for a boundary is the reason why he was such an excellent batsman. Kaif conceded that he would hardly miss the ball when playing the flick shot, that might otherwise hit the stumps or the pad.
“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,” the right-handed batsman added.
Sachin Tendulkar’s knock of 98 guided India to an easy victory over Pakistan, successfully chasing a target of 273 with six wickets to spare. With 673 runs, he finished as the highest run-getter in the tournament; however, India lost to Australia in the finals.