The Natwest series 2002 final between India and England is widely regarded as one of the greatest ODI history. Also Read - Greg Spoilt His Name, Could've Been a Good Batting Coach: Mohammad Kaif
India recovered from a precarious spot to chase down 326 with two wickets and three deliveries remaining, sealing a win for the ages at Lord’s. Such was the impact of the performance that the then India captain Sourav Ganguly took off his shirt and started waving it from the balcony. Also Read - It Will be Tougher For Bowlers to Find Their Rhythm After Lockdown: Brett Lee
There were three architects of that India win – Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh and Ganguly himself. Also Read - Ben Stokes Questions India's Intent During World Cup 2019 Game vs England at Edgbaston, Says There Was No Intent From MS Dhoni And Kedar Jadhav
While Yuvraj scored 69, Ganguly hit 60.
However, it was the performance of Kaif that is still remembered today as he saw through the tense chase while shepherding the tail-enders.
Kaif scored an unbeaten 87 off 75 before being mobbed by his teammates, surrounded by a crestfallen England cricketers.
However, Kaif was at the receiving end of unflattering comments from England cricketers and the then captain Nasser Hussain who called him a ‘bus driver’, driving Sachin Tendulkar around.
Recalling that innings, Hussain said on Sky Sports podcast, “It’s the greatest innings the lad (Kaif) played. He will be remembered for that. When he came in, there was a bit of a sledge. We had got the Fab Five out already. Somebody said, ‘Who’s this then, Skip?’ I said, ‘I think he must drive the bus. I think he drives Tendulkar around on the bus.”
“When he hit the winning runs, ‘not bad for a bus driver’ – he gave me that sort of a look,” Hussain recalled.
Tagging Hussain on a tweet about that podcast, Kaif gave a witty response.
“thanks to that innings the bus driver drives a convertible now :)” the Indian wrote.
Hussain said that two youngsters in Kaif and Yuvraj had driven the chase came as a big boost to Indian cricket.
“Because it was done by those two (Kaif and Yuvraj Singh). If it had been Sehwag and Tendulkar, it would have been fine. But the fact that it was done by two relatively unknown cricketers was a big boost for Indian cricket,” he said.