As fans gear up for the much awaited India-Pakistan T20 match of the ongoing ICC World tournament on March 19, Virender Sehwag has revealed his best moments of India-Pakistan clashes, which he was a part of.
Sehwag, who’ll be felicitated at the Eden Gardens amidst the presence of other prominent cricketers, has mentioned his top three encounters with the opposition players, which took place during his career.
He revealed some interesting facts while speaking to Cricbuzz.
Here are the top three encounters:
1. 1st April, 1999
“It was, in every sense, an April Fool’s Day for me. It was my first game and I got out on 1. But it is during that match I witnessed the high intensity of an Indo-Pak cricket match for the first time in my career. I understood the significance of an India v Pakistan game and what that means for the players participating in these clashes. So, I came in at No.7 in that fixture and I was greeted by a string of abuses from Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi. So much so, that it appeared like Afridi was a mate of mine and was conversing only in expletives.
This was followed by another set of unmentionables from Shahid Nazir, whose was the first delivery I faced in international cricket. Shoaib Akhtar, on whose bowling I got out, didn’t get a chance to sledge me because I was out first ball to him. Thereafter, I was waiting for a chance to return the favor when it was our turn to field. So, I did abuse some of their players but didn’t go overboard as we Indians are a respectful lot and believe less in sledging-abusing and more so in playing the game.”
2. India’s tour of Pakistan, 2004
“During my innings of 309 against them, I was sledged and abused by the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami, who didn’t expect me to play a long inning like that one. I batted one whole day and was not out on 228 overnight. After the day’s play, their opener Yasir Hameed met us in a lift and told me that when I come out to bat tomorrow, your bowlers won’t be able to get rid of me in any way.
I replied saying that only one cricketer was capable of such feats and he was Don Bradman, who could play exactly as he said he would. So, I told him that he might be a ‘Don Bradman’, if he said that he could pull that off. Later, he got out early and we started calling him ‘Don Bradman’, which went on for the rest of the series. So much so that during the last test match, Yasir implored us to stop addressing him by that.”
3. India v Pakistan at Durban, ICC World T20 – Group Stage, September 2007
“My best India v Pakistan moment is from our first match in the ICC World T20 2007, which was a tie. Nobody thought that the first encounter between the two countries in the first World T20, would be a tie. At the time, the rule was that if the match ended in a tie, it would go to a bowl-out. We had practiced for this prior to the contest, wherein Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh and I hit the stumps the most number of times.
So, I told MS (Dhoni) that I would like to bowl first. I was confident that if I go first, I’ll surely ‘disturb the furniture’, which is what actually happened. We were 1-0 up. This was followed by hits from Harbhajan and Uthappa. The stadium erupted thereafter. Harbhajan jumped on Yuvraj and hugged him. Everyone broke into a loud cry of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai!’ and started to sing along, ‘Chak De India’, which was quite popular at the time.
I think the scenes will be no different on March 19 when the two sides meet again at Kolkata.