He was more popular than Imran Khan: Ashish Nehra on India cricketer during Pakistan tour of 2003-04 – cricket

There nonetheless might not any readability on the subsequent India vs Pakistan Test sequence however a little bit more than 16 years in the past in 2003-04 when India toured Pakistan for the primary time after an identical kind of hole between bilateral sequence involving the 2 international locations, the scenario was completely different.

The Sourav Ganguly-led Indian facet was touring Pakistan for the primary time since Kargil War they usually ended successful each the ODI and Test sequence. There have been some memorable performances from the likes of Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Irfan Pathan however in keeping with former India pacer Ashish Nehra, probably the most popular and memorable cricketer of that tour was proper-arm pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji.

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Balaji, who performed in all three Test matches and the 5 one-dayers during that tour and was additionally instrumental in India’s victory within the sequence-deciding third Test at Rawalpindi by choosing up 7 wickets, was referred deemed because the popular Indian cricketer during that tour by Nehra.

Nehra mentioned Balaji was the truth is more popular than former Pakistan captain and present Prime Minister Imran Khan during that tour.

“In the dressing room, Irfan can give you more stories, the only thing I remember is Laxmipathy Balaji on that particular tour. Maybe that time he was more popular than Imran Khan,” mentioned Nehra in Star Sports’ present Cricket Connected.

Balaji had additionally hit Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami for sixes during the ODI sequence of the sequence.

“Those six weeks he was hitting sixes left right and centre there was no doubt about it. Virender Sehwag triple hundred, Rahul Dravid double hundred, Irfan Pathan performance, all that is there but to me off the field, Pakistan, the nation as a whole and Laximathy Balaji in the dressing room,” mentioned Nehra.

“I still remember Javed Miandad inviting all of us to his house and that food in his house was amazing, I still remember it,” Nehra added.

Balaji performed eight assessments, 30 ODIs and 5 T20Is for India and picked up 27, 34 and 10 wickets throughout the codecs respectively earlier than saying his retirement in 2017.

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