Former left-arm pacer Wasim Akram, who was the captain of Pakistan throughout their historic tour of India in 1999, recalled the pulsating Chennai Test match, revealing how he and Saqlain Mushtaq determined to take a threat in opposition to an in-type Sachin Tendulkar which fortunately paid off.
Tendulkar’s 136 stays one in all his best knocks, however a coronary heart-breaking one as properly since he couldn’t take India over the road. Battling again spasm, Tendulkar, with India 17 away from victory, high edged a heave off the bowling of Saqlain and was out caught by Akram himself. 21 years after that epic Test on the Chepauk stadium, the previous Pakistan captain weighed in on the match, providing his insights.
“I remember that Test match like it was yesterday. India and Pakistan were known to play close matches. I remember a Test match in 1987 in Bangalore when Sunil Gavaskar scored some 90-odd and then this Chennai Test. It was such a close Test match, into its last day. I think India needed some 20-odd runs, and the partnership between Mongia and Sachin was flourishing. Sachin was reading Saqlain bloody well, and was aware when he bowled the doosra,” Akram informed Aakash Chopra in a video chat.
Needing 271 to win, India had been lowered to 82/5 when Tendulkar and Nayan Mongia got here collectively so as to add a 136-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Akram, who broke the stand by foxing Mongia to play a rash shot, believes that was the second when he believed Pakistan had an opportunity to wrap issues up and indicated the message to his gamers.
“Had Mongia played along, the result would have been different. But when he skied one and got out, I told the players this is the time. Sachin was battling back spasms so the opportunity was right there,” the previous quick bowler added.
With Tendulkar nonetheless holding fort, Saqlain went to his captain for recommendation, and that is when Akram requested Saqlain to bowl a threat supply.
“When Sachin got out, all fielders were on the boundary. Only I was at extra-cover. I told Saqlain to bowl a flighted doosra, knowing the risk that it may even go for a six. Knowing that Sachin would hit over mid-wicket, Saqlain bowled it full on middle and leg. He went after it and top-edged the ball to me,” Akram stated.
As it turned out Pakistan received the Test match by 12 runs as India’s tail failed to assemble the remaining runs.