Mohammad Kaif has revealed that during his time with the Indian team, he has never seen Sachin Tendulkar play the uppercut that he played against Shoaib Akhtar in 2003 World Cup. Appreciating his planning, he also added that the right-hander does not like to talk too much while he is batting.
India’s clash against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup at Centurion went down as one of the iconic moments in Indian cricket’s history. In just the second over of the innings, the Indian opener trashed Pakistan’s pacer, Shoaib Akhtar, over the point boundary for a six, boosting India’s confidence. Later on, Sachin did not control his attacking intent, with another punching boundary against the Pakistani pace attack.
Talking about the particular shot, former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif revealed that he had never seen Sachin play that uppercut until that day. Watching from a close quarter, the right-hander revealed that the Indian opener’s strength was always his close eye on the ball, never missing it.
“The six over point, the iconic shot that is shown again and again, is a shot he never plays. Very rarely have we seen him playing that shot. 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,” Kaif said on the Watch Along episode of the India vs Pakistan 2003 match on Star Sports, reported Hindustan Times.
Batting alongside Sachin during that famous encounter, Kaif admitted that his batting partner never liked to talk too much in the middle. On top of that, the UP batsman also recollected how the Mumbaikar’s planning was at a different level to his teammates.
“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,” Kaif added.
“If someone goes and tells him what a shot he had played, he would ask you to stay quiet and let him bat. He didn’t like it at all if someone goes and tells him how well he was batting and how good the ball was going from his bat or that it was his day. 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.”