Bowlers shared jokes to overcome pain: Shahid Afridi recalls Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid’s innings in Lahore Test against India
When India toured Pakistan in 2004 for a full series after a long gap due to the Kargil war, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were the top performers in India’s 2-1 win over their arch-rivals. A couple of years later India returned to Pakistan for another three-match series with Dravid carrying the additional responsibility of captaining the side. Naturally, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid were at the centre stage of India’s batting line-up. Dravid and Sehwag did not take long to get going as they stitched a mammoth 410-run opening stand – just 3 runs shy of the Indian record set by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy - in the first Test at Lahore.
It was a match in which 12 batsman faced at least a delivery each and six of them – four from Pakistan and two from India - managed to score hundreds with Sehwag top-scoring with 254 off just 247 balls, which was also his second double hundred against Pakistan after his record-breaking 309 at Multan a couple of years ago.
Recalling that run-fest at Lahore, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who himself had scored a sparkling hundred (102 off 81 balls) in the first innings of that Test match, said they had to resort to jokes to ease the pain of the bowlers during that Lahore Test match.
Afridi was replying to a tweet from Pakistan Cricket Board, in which they had shared his photograph along with Shoaib Akhtar’s.
“Great memories, this was I believe after one of my favourite Test inns in Lahore against India in 2006, Shoaib was always a threat for batsmen but this was a very flat wicket and bowlers were left to share jokes to overcome their pain,” tweeted Afridi.
Batting first, Pakistan had scored 679/7 d with Younis Khan (199,) Mohammad Yousuf (173), Kamran Akmal (103) and Shahid Afridi (102) scoring centuries.
In reply, India scored 410/1 with Sehwag (254) and Dravid (128*) making a mockery of the Pakistan bowling line-up in the rain-affected match. The match ended up a pale draw.
Pakistan, however, went on to win the series 1-0 after winning the last Test match in Karachi.