'If nothing is happening, break the batsman by bodyline bowling' - Shoaib Akhtar recalls dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in 2003 World Cup

‘If nothing is happening, break the batsman by bodyline bowling’ – Shoaib Akhtar recalls dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in 2003 World Cup

Recalling the 2003 World Cup encounter against India, Akhtar said that Pakistan's score was 25-30 runs below par, considering the nature of the pitch.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Lifting a World Cup is an incredible achievement for any player and it eventually becomes a major milestone his cricketing journey. Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar, however, had to face two heartbreaking defeats– against Australia in the 1999 World Cup and against India in the 2003 World Cup.

Akhtar was recently asked if he was more disappointed with the loss in the 1999 World Cup final against Australia or defeat against India in the 2003 World Cup. The Rawalpindi Express responded by saying that the 1999 World Cup was more disappointing as it was a final, whereas the 2003 World Cup clash against India was just a league stage encounter.

Our score was less on that wicket against India: Shoaib Akhtar

“The disappointment is there for every match you lose. It was obviously more for 1999, the 2003 World Cup encounter against India was a league match,” said Akhtar on the YouTube show ‘Cricket Baaz’.

Recalling the 2003 World Cup encounter against India, Akhtar said that Pakistan’s score was 25-30 runs below par, considering the nature of the pitch. He further praised Sachin Tendulkar who played a stellar 98-run knock before getting dismissed off Akhtar’s bowling. The wicket was so easy that Akhtar realised after the match that he could’ve resorted to bodyline bowling to make things difficult for the batsmen.

“I felt that our score was less on that wicket. We were 25-30 runs below par because the pitch was very flat but India played well. Sachin played very well, he got dismissed on 98 off my bowling. I realised after that match that when the wicket is so easy, then you should do bodyline bowling. I should have gone just to hit the batsman,” Akhtar further said.

Akhtar pointed out that bowling a short-pitched delivery at Sachin’s body resulted in his dismissal. According to the Pakistan veteran, he might have been smashed for a couple of sixes with his tactics but could have also picked up a wicket.

“At the most, I would have got hit for 2 sixes in an over, so what would have happened. I could have still picked up a wicket. The same bodyline bowling I did in the second spell, I got Sachin’s wicket. This is the part of the process that I want to deliver to the youngsters, that if nothing is happening, then the batsman has a body. You should break it,” concluded Akhtar.