Indians only remember Sachin’s six as it makes them happy: Shoaib Akhtar on duel with Tendulkar in World Cup 2003
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday called Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar as one of the “greatest batsman of all time”. Akhtar, who had some memorable on field duels with Tendulkar, was recalling his rivalry with the batting maestro in an Instagram video. The players squared off against each other several times during the late 1990s and early 2000s. While Akhtar did enjoy some success against Tendulkar, the Indian too had his moments against the express paceman.
“I had a good time bowling to Sachin Tendulkar. He is one of the greatest batsmen of all-time. But I dismissed him 12-13 times as well,” Akhtar said in the video. Known for his penchant for hyperbole, Akhtar might have got his numbers wrong. Akhtar actually dismissed Tendulkar 8 times - 5 times in ODIs and 3 times in Tests - in international cricket. In T20 cricket he dismissed Tendulkar once in an IPL match while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2008. But no one can dispute the fact that fans were always eager to watch the contest that was in store whenever the two faced each other.
Tendulkar’s memorable knock in the 2003 World Cup against Pakistan, a match in which he scored 98 runs while battling cramps, is considered one of his best in ODI cricket. In that match, the Indian opener took apart Akhtar, giving India a racing start while chasing a stiff target of 274.
Tendulkar played many attractive strokes in his during his match-winning knock but among those his square cut off Akhtar that went flying over the third man boundary for a six has become a part of the folklore. Recalling that incident, Akhtar, in his own gracious way said, “Although, Indians only remember that one six which he hit me in Centurion [during the 2003 ICC World Cup] as it makes them really happy,” he said.
He further added: “If I had known that one six makes 1.3 billion people happy, then I would have let him hit me for a six every day,” he added.
India had gone on to win that match by 6 wickets.