Off The Field

Never saw him play like that: Inzamam on Sachin’s best knock

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was on the receiving end numerous times when Sachin Tendulkar took their bowling attack to the cleaners. The Master Blaster played some famous knocks against Pakistan including seven centuries across formats. Inzamam recently picked Sachin’s best knock against the Men in Green and admitted he had never seen the Master Blaster play like that before in his career.

During a chat with Indian spinner R Ashwin on his YouTube channel, Inzamam was asked about Sachin’s innings against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup where the Master Blaster almost single-handedly propelled India to a comfortable victory. His 98 off 75 balls laced with 12 fours and a six helped India chase down the target of 274 runs with 26 balls to spare in Centurion.

During his chat with Inzamam, Ashwin asked the ex-Pakistan captain about that knock from Sachin and whether Pakistan were convinced that they had enough on the board or not after scoring 273 runs riding on a magnificent 101 off 126 balls from Saeed Anwar.

“I have asked the same question Sachin paaji but I want to ask you now. In the 2003 World Cup game India and Pakistan, Pakistan had posted a huge score. Saeed Anwar scored a century but after that Sehwag and Sachin played well and India won the match. At the halfway mark did you believe that you have enough to win the match or was the score under par?,” Ashwin asked Inzamam on his YouTube show – ‘DRS with Ash’.

Opening the batting for India, Sachin and Virender Sehwag gave India a fiery start in the run-chase and raced to 53 off 5.3 overs before Sehwag was dismissed by Waqar Younis. However, Sachin continued his onslaught against Pakistan’s star-studded fast bowling line-up consisting of Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram, and Younis among others.

Despite the Centurion pitch favouring the fast bowlers, Sachin toyed with the Pakistan bowling attack and played a fabulous knock to help India attain a famous win against their arch-rivals. Inzamam admitted Sachin’s 98 off 75 was his best knock as he had never seen anything like that before from the Master Blaster.

“Our bowling line-up consisted of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar and the conditions were favouring the fast bowlers. The match was being played at Centurion in South Africa. So we felt that we had put up a pretty good score,” said Inzamam.

“I have seen Sachin play a lot but the way he batted in that match; I have never seen him play like that before. The way he played against our fast bowlers in those conditions was superb. I think he scored 98 before getting out to Shoaib Akhtar.

“I feel that was Sachin’s best innings. He broke all the pressure. He played a top-quality innings against genuine quality fast bowlers like ours. The way he hit those boundaries, the pressure got released on the batsmen who came after him. If someone were to ask Sachin, he too would absolutely love that innings of his,” he added.

About the author

Vishwas Gupta