Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar took a dig at Waqar Younis and said it was due to his poor captaincy the ‘Men in Green’ lost the ICC World Cup 2003 match against India in Centurion.
Speaking in a new video on his personal YouTube channel, Akhtar said the 2003 lost game against India was the most disappointing match of his career. “The most disappointing match for me in my entire career was the 2003 World Cup match against India at Centurion. We had failed to defend a target of 274 despite having a very good bowling line-up,” said the pacer.
He opened up further in the video about his bad phase during the match and how he went clueless about his bowling. He continued and said after he informed Waqar about his issue he was removed from bowling. However, the bowler was reintroduced by his captain at a time when Akhtar felt India had already taken the driving seat.
“I had no clue how to bowl and get the breakthrough. Unfortunately, the captain (Waqar Younis) got me out of the attack. He brought me later in the innings where I just bowled fast and short. I got out Sachin at 98 on a short-pitched delivery. I told the captain that I should have persisted with such bowling from the very beginning. In the end we lost the match,” he added.
He blamed Waqar’s poor captaincy for Pakistan’s defeat in the match and said, “I still regret that loss. If we could have scored some more runs and bowled better, we could have won that match. But unfortunately, my fitness came in the way and also, it was poor captaincy that made us lose that match.”
The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ also spoke about the night before the match and how he had to take 4-5 injections to get fit for the match. “Because of the injections water had filled up in my left knee and there was no sensation in it.”
He also gave his audience a glimpse of the environment of the Pakistani dressing room during the break. got out Sachin at 98 on a short-pitched delivery. I told the captain that I should have persisted with such bowling from the very beginning. In the end, we lost the match,” said the man who holds the record of bowling the fastest delivery in the history of cricket at a pace of 161.3 kmph.
However, he also took the time to give full credit to Sachin Tendulkar’s performance and conceded they India have always been a better team than them at the World Cups. “It was a bitter experience for me because we could have defeated India, both in 1999 and 2003, but we couldn’t. Not to take the credit away from India who have played us exceeding well at the World Cups,” the veteran of 46 Tests and 163 ODIs, said.
India, riding on Tendulkar’s emphatic 98, defeated Pakistan in a group encounter of ICC World Cup 2003 on March 1, 2003, in Centurion. The Sourav Ganguly-led side had chased the winning total of 274 with more than four overs to spare and continued the winning streak against the neighbours at World Cups.