Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar reportedly revealed the reason behind India's win over Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup group stage match at Centurion, South Africa. As quoted by IANS, Akhtar posted a video on his youtube channel in which he opened up about Pakistan's missed chance to beat India in the World Cup.
He stated that it was the most disappointing match in his career and he mentioned it happened due to his injury and wrong decisions by then captain Waqar Younis. The 43-year-old former cricketer mentioned that during the innings break he told his teammates that 273 runs which Pakistan scored were not enough as the pitch was good for batting.
"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 Akhtar.
"After the end of our innings, I told my teammates that we have probably scored 30-40 runs less. However, all the players in the team shouted at me saying if '273 is not enough then what is'. They said we will be able to get India all out. However, I knew that the pitch was a good one for batting and it will remain so in the second innings as well," he added.
The fast-bowler who is popularly known as the Rawalpindi Express revealed that he had to take four-five injections the night before the match as a result of which it was numb. Due to this he could not run properly and got belted by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. He further added that his captain got him out of the attack and when he was brought back it was too late.
"When we started the bowling, I noticed that my left knee had gone numb. Because of which, I wasn't able to run properly through my bowling run-up. As a result I was not able to bowl properly. Indian openers, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, went for the charge from the word go. In fact, Sachin played me very well and even hit me for a six over point," Akhtar was quoted by IANS.
"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 further added.
Pakistan posted a total of 273 runs in that match and the Men in Blue chased it down with four overs in hand with a magnificent knock by Sachin Tendulkar. Akhtar picked up the wicket of the Master Blaster but gave away 72 runs in his quota of 10 overs.