‘Cannot go worse than this’: Kamran Akmal recalls match-saving advice from Inzamam in 2006 Karachi Test against India
Speaking in an interview to Pakistan broadcaster Sawera Pasha on her Youtube chat show Cric Cast, Akmal recalled how an advice from former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq helped him in his plans to counter-attack Indian bowling.Updated: Jul 20, 2020, 10:49 IST
The 2006 Karachi Test between India and Pakistan is largely remembered among Indian cricket fans because of Irfan Pathan’s hat-trick. The former left-arm seamer became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in the first over a Test. Irfan dismissed Salman Butt, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan to put the hosts under pressure. At one stage, Pakistan were reeling at 39/6 before wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal came out to the middle and scored a ton to revive the innings. Akmal’s ton helped Pakistan put a decent total on the board, and eventually the hosts won the match.
Speaking in an interview to Pakistan broadcaster Sawera Pasha on her Youtube chat show Cric Cast, Akmal recalled how an advice from former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq helped him in his plans to counter-attack Indian bowling.
“Honestly, I had nothing going through my mind when I was going down to the middle. I was new and I did not have that much pressure on me. Inzy bhai had a back injury and he was rested from that Test match. Irfan Pathan took a hat-trick in the first over and I was sitting with Inzy bhai in the dressing room. He kept shifting his positions thinking ‘what is going on’,”Akmal recalled.“So, Inzy bhai told me, ‘Kami, play like the way you played against India, and the way you played during your century in Australia. Just play your natural game. Whatever happens, it cannot go worse than this. It can only go better. Just play your natural game, and don’t take pressure’,” he added.
“When I reached out to the middle, I cut RP Singh’s delivery for a boundary through gully point, it motivated me. When it is 39/6, and you hit a shot like that, you automatically gain confidence. So, I just built small partnerships with the tailenders.
“Razzaq bhai scored 47-48 runs (Razzaq scored 45) with me. Then Shoaib bhai came, and he scored 49 runs (Akhtar scored 45). These partnerships helped us to cross 240. It was an unbelievable experience,” Akmal said.
“Even today when I think about it, we were 39/6 and we went on to win the Test. It was an unbelievable performance. And the way the bowlers responded, Asif, Shoiab bhai, Danish, and Razzaq - and then everyone scored runs in the 2nd innings. It was a great feeling. It was an innings I remember all my life. It felt great that we won the Test series in Pakistan,” the batsman added.