Sachin Tendulkar remained focused despite Shahid Afridi abusing him, Virender Sehwag recalls 2003 World Cup encounter

Sachin Tendulkar remained focused despite Shahid Afridi abusing him, Virender Sehwag recalls 2003 World Cup encounter

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Virender Sehwag has revealed what went down during the epic Sachin Tendulkar knock against Pakistan in 2003



Virender Sehwag has finally revealed the things that occurred on the field during Sachin Tendulkar's mesmerizing knock against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup, recounting how the batter remained focused despite the sledging. He went on to comment on the India-Pakistan rivalry and what it entails.

Sachin Tendulkar over his career produced many memorable innings and ended up with 100 centuries across ODIs and Tests. Yet, perhaps his most vividly remembered knock remains the 98 he scored against Pakistan in a group stage game at the 2003 World Cup. Coming off just 75 balls, the Little Master demolished a fierce bowling lineup comprising Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram- three of the greatest fast bowlers ever produced.

One man who had the honour to observe it all from close quarters was Tendulkar's opening partner, Virender Sehwag. Even though he fell for just 21 while chasing 276, the attacking batsman was fortunate enough to be on the pitch when Sachin struck Akhtar for 18 runs in his first over of the match. He was also recalled to the field as a runner for Sachin a bit later on. In a video posted by Star Sports, Sehwag recounted the manner in which the Indian legend stood up to expectations and what all he had to endure to achieve the feat.

“We knew it was an important game. But Tendulkar was so experienced, he had played so many games against Pakistan.. he knew that he needed to be prepared for it. If I have to consider his World Cup knocks, it was his best. I also came to run for him during the game because he was having cramps, and Pakistan's Shahid Afridi was abusing him a lot, kept saying something or the other. But he remained focused. He knew it was important for him to stay at the crease. He usually doesn't take a runner, but still he knew that if I come, I will run like he does. There won't be any misunderstanding," he was quoted saying by Hindsutan Times.


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The hostilities between India and Pakistan are set to resume at the Asia Cup later this month in the United Arab Emirates. The two sides can face each other up to three times through the course of the tournament, before going head to head once again at the World T20 in October. 

“No matter what series it is (ICC tournament or bilateral), the match between India and Pakistan is always intense. And we will always see fights or incidents taking place between players of both the countries. And I remember there was a statement from Shoaib Akhtar that he will absolutely destroy the top order. I didn't read the statement, neither did Sachin, but Sachin did respond strongly to it in the first over of our innings. He hit 18 runs in that over,” recalled Sehwag.

The two arch-rivals will meet at the Dubai International Stadium on August 28 to open their Asia Cup campaigns.

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