Two boys changed the result of India series in 2005: Inzamam-ul-Haq heaps praise on Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq
Recalling how the partnership between Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq motivated the Pakistan side, Inzamam, who was the skipper of Pakistan in that India tour on 2005, said the ‘juniors’ gave the belief to the seniors.Updated: Jun 27, 2020, 11:30 IST
After the highs of India’s tour to Pakistan in 2003-04, it was Pakistan’s turn to travel to India for a full series in 2004-05. Just like India, Pakistan too arrived in their arch-rivals’ den after a long time. The Sourav Ganguly-led Indian side had won both the Test and ODI series in Pakistan so the pressure was double on Inzamam-ul-Haq and his men when they came to India.
Pakistan would have succumbed to that pressure in the very first Test itself and the outcome of the series would have been a lot different if not for two young cricketers Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal.
Pakistan only had 4 wickets in their bank and a slender lead of 53 runs at the start of Day 5 of the first Test in Mohali.
India’s bowlers led by Lakshmipathy Balaji, who had taken a five-for in the first innings, were in red-hot form and it was only a matter of time before Pakistan’s last four wickets fell and India chased down the target to go 1-0 up. But Akmal and Razzaq had other ideas.
The duo stitched together a 186-run stand for the seventh wicket to deny India all hopes of a victory.
Akmal scored 109 off 154 balls while Razzaq was dismissed for 71 as the match ended in a draw.
Recalling how those two innings that motivated the Pakistan side, Inzamam, who was the skipper of Pakistan in that tour, said the juniors gave the belief to the seniors.
“When a junior cricketer performs the seniors feel ‘if they can do it, why can’t we’. This has happened many times in cricket. We were playing in Chandigarh in 2005, where Razzaq and Kamran Akmal put together a partnership to save the Test match. Akmal scored a century and Razzaq scored 70 odd. Me, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yusuf were sitting inside the dressing room and we realized if two junior cricketers can fight like this and then why can’t we?” said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.
The former Pakistan captain then went on to add how that partnership had motivated his side for the entire series.
“The entire result of the series changed because of those two boys,” said Inzamam.
Pakistan lost the next Test match at Kolkata but came back strongly in Bengaluru to square the series.
In the six-match ODI series, which followed the three-Test series, Pakistan came back from 0-2 down to take the series 4-2.