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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Sachin Tendulkar calls Mohammad Kaif ‘superman’ in birthday wishes

Sachin Tendulkar led the tributes to Mohammad Kaif as the former India all-rounder celebrated his 37th birthday. Along with Tendulkar, players like Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina also wished him on the occasion.

cricket Updated: Dec 01, 2017 17:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sachin Tendulkar led the birthday tributes for Mohammad Kaif, who turned 37 on Friday as he called him ‘Superman’.
Sachin Tendulkar led the birthday tributes for Mohammad Kaif, who turned 37 on Friday as he called him ‘Superman’.(Getty Images)

Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif turned 37 on Friday and while his fans and followers wished him on several social media platforms, the special ones were reserved from his former teammates, who recalled his stellar fielding skills besides a few match-winning knocks.

Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar led the list while touting Kaif as the Superman of the Indian Cricket team who only lacked a cape. “Wishing a very happy birthday to our very own #TeamIndia Superman. Bas cape missing hai, Kaifu ;) Have a super day and year ahead, @MohammadKaif,” Tendulkar wrote on his official Twitter account. Kaif was quick to reply as well and thanked Tendulkar stating: “Haha..Thank you for your wishes @sachin_rt Paaji. You continue to inspire so many of us even beyond the Cricket field.”

Although Kaif had played just 13 Tests for India, his contributions in the limited-overs format was what earned him the deserved limelight. Primarily a batsman who bowled just 18 deliveries in his international career, Kaif was known for his athleticism on the field. His moment of glory, however, came in 2002 when he bailed India out of trouble to chase down a mammoth 326-run target with Yuvraj Singh at the other end.

Despite a 106-run opening stand, India were down to 146 for the loss of five wickets when Kaif put up a 121-run stand with Yuvraj before adding another 47 runs for the seventh wicket with Harbhajan Singh. Although he did not hit the winning runs, but his 75-ball 87 was instrumental to India winning the match with three balls and two wickets to spare. It also made way for Sourav Ganguly’s iconic shirt celebration in the stands.

The wishes were not just limited to the Indian dressing room though. On-field rivals from Australia and Pakistan, too, joined in the list with Matthew Hayden leaving a cheeky wish for the Indian all-rounder. “Happy Birthday @MohammadKaif I’m sorry for terrifying you at bat pad for all@those years. Have a wonderful year full happiness and joy!!!,” Hayden stated, before Kaif replied saying it wasn’t just him but almost all the bowlers across the world were terrified of him.

Suresh Raina in particular lauded Kaif’s fielding skills. Thanking the latter for making him believe that fielding can change the course of a match, Raina stated: “You made me believe fielding can change the course of the match and fielding has now been redefined in cricket because of people like you! Fondly remember our hostel days where we showed runs saved were as important as runs scored.”

Among others to wish Kaif on his birthday were VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Yusuf Pathan, RP Singh, Cheteshwar Pujara and Manoj Tiwary. Kaif last played for India in 2006 with 3377 international runs, three centuries and 20 half-centuries to his name. Recently, he was appointed by Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League as their fielding coach.