Tendulkar closed eyes while facing Akhtar's bouncers: Mohd Asif recalls an old episode
Former Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif, who served a seven-year suspension for spot-fixing, recently claimed that Shoaib Akhtar’s ferocious bouncers had once troubled batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Recalling an episode from India’s tour to Pakistan in 2006, Asif spoke about the famous Test in Karachi in which Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick.
“If you remember the Indian team that came to Pakistan in 2006, they had a solid batting line-up. Dravid was scoring plenty of runs, Sehwag smashed us at Multan. During the Faisalabad Test, both teams scored 600 runs each. We were a bit worried as their batting line-up was deep, MS Dhoni was batting at number seven or eight,” Asif said Pakistani show The Burgerz.
“When the match started, Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick in the first over itself. Our morale was down. Kamran Akmal scored a century lower down the order. We scored around 240 runs. When we started bowling, Shoaib Akhtar bowled at express pace in that match. I was standing at square leg near the umpire and I myself saw that Tendulkar closed his eyes while facing one or two bouncers bowled by Shoaib. The Indians were playing on the back foot and we didn’t allow them to score even 240 in the first innings. We snatched victory from jaws of defeat,” the pacer added.
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Despite losing Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf in the first over, Kamran Akmal’s gritty century helped Pakistan post a respectable 245 on the board. India in response started on a similar note and were bundled out for 238.
Pakistan took complete control in the second innings as they put up a mammoth 599/7, courtesy of a century from Faisal Iqbal and valuable contributions from Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq.
In the bowling department, Razzaq and Asif ripped apart the Indian batting order and despite Irfan’s memorable hat-trick and Yuvraj Singh’s century in the second innings, India lost that match and the series.