Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan fast bowler, feels that he could have got Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar out cheaply, had he resorted to bodyline tactics in the 2003 World Cup encounter against arch-rivals India.
Akhtar, who was hammered to all corners of the SuperSport Park by Sachin Tendulkar during that encounter, recently appeared on Youtube show ‘Cricket Baaz’, where he was asked if he was more disappointed with Pakistan’s defeat to Australia in the 1999 World Cup final or the 2003 group-stage encounter against India. Akhtar chose the former since it was the summit clash of the quadrennial event.
“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 Akhtar said.
Coming back to the India-Pakistan game, Shoaib Akhtar added that Pakistan was at least 25-30 runs on what was a placid track with absolutely no help for the bowlers.
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‘If nothing is happening, then the batsman has a body. You should break it’-Shoaib Akhtar
Chasing 273 to win, Sachin Tendulkar launched a brutal counterattack on the Pakistani fast bowler. It all started with the second over of the innings where SRT carted Akhtar for 18 runs, which also included the iconic upper-cut over point for a six.
Shoaib Akhtar acknowledged Sachin’s brilliance but added that had he resorted to bodyline tactics from the very outset, things could have turned out to be completely different. He did dismiss Sachin with a rib-snorter during his second spell but it was too late by that time as Sachin’s whirlwind 98 had knocked the stuffing out the game.
“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. 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.” Akhtar said.
“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.” he added.
The former fast bowler added that he learnt after that game that if nothing is happening then the bowler should resort to hurting the batsman, something he intends to teach the youngsters.
“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.” he added.