Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif recalled Sachin Tendulkar's iconic six off Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar during a 2003 World Cup match in Centurion.
In the second over of India's innings, Tendulkar went after a short and wide delivery from Akhtar as the ball flew over point for a six. The six against Akhtar attained a legendary status thanks to the rivalry between India and Pakistan and the fact that this was a crucial World Cup match.
Kaif, who was also playing in the match spoke about the shot during an interview on Star Sports. According to an article on the Hindustan Times, Kaif said that the six Tendulkar hit off Akhtar was followed by a boundary on the leg-side which shows the legendary cricketer’s range and strength.
“That is why he was such a great batsman because the bowler has that weapon to bring the ball in and get the batsman bowled or LBW, that happened to Sachin very few times in his career,” Kaif said.
Kaif went on to add, "The six over point, the iconic shot that is shown again and again, is a shot he never plays. He plays that shot very rarely. I have seen him punch the ball or hitting shots on the rise but that upper cut, with his heavy bat playing against a bowler who is bowling at over 150 kph is a very difficult shot."
During the course of the interview Kaif also revealed that during his match-winning partnership with Tendulkar in the same match, the cricketing legend had asked him to just stay at the crease while he went about dismantling the Pakistan attack.
"I was told to just stay there. Sachin didn't believe in talking too much. When Sachin Paaji is batting, it is like a meditation. He is in his own different zone. So he doesn't like talking too much.
"He knows where the gap is and he would know in his mind where the fielders are standing and how to push for that extra run. His planning was at a different level."
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