Many India vs Pakistan cricket matches over the years have hardly been short of drama. Over the years, both teams have produced several memorable moments that are still etched in the minds of the cricketing fans. One such unforgettable nail-biting thriller was played in Chennai in 1999 when India hosted Pakistan in the first Test match of the two-Test series.
Chasing 271, the Indian team was reeling at 81/5 but Sachin Tendulkar stood tall for India as he played an amazing knock of 136 to bring India closer to the victory. With 17 runs required, the chase was going smooth for India before Saqlain Mushtaq dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and then cleared the tail quickly. Pakistan ended up winning the match by 12 runs and Saqlain Mushtaq finished with 10 wickets in that match.
On Sunday, Saqlain Mushtaq opened up on the thrilling match in an Instagram live session with Sportstar. Saqlain Mushtaq said that it had been 21 years and he still remembers that game. He further said that God was on his side that day and added that while he did not think that he would get Sachin Tendulkar out but when God has plans, one can’t beat that. Saqlain Mushtaq also said that till his last breath, it will give him enough pride that he could dismiss Sachin Tendulkar that day and added that his name will always be connected to the Little Master's.
Saqlain Mushtaq further said that there was a time when Sachin Tendulkar was sparing no one and was playing beautifully. So, Saqlain Mushtaq walked up to Wasim Akram (the then Pakistan captain) to tell him that it was getting tough for the bowlers to tackle Sachin Tendulkar and psychologically, he was feeling a bit down.
The conversation with Wasim Akram helped Saqlain Mushtaq. Saqlain Mushtaq said that Wasim Akram had full faith in him and he believed that he could do something magical for the team. He added that those words by Wasim Akram helped him and he suddenly felt stronger. He said that he conceded a few boundaries but eventually got Sachin Tendulkar out.
Saqlain Mushtaq also admitted that dismissing Sachin Tendulkar wasn't easy at all. He said Tendulkar had sharp eyes and he could read everything, which was intimidating. Mushtaq also admitted that he was scared to bowl him the doosra fearing that he might hit boundaries. He concluded saying that with God’s grace, he could send him packing.
In the same interview, Mushtaq also praised another former Indian cricket captain Anil Kumble, for being a source of guidance for him when the duo played county cricket nearly 20 years ago in England. Mushtaq revealed that it was Kumble who helped him fix his eye problems by recommending to him an ophthalmologist in London he himself had visited along with his former teammate and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.
IMAGE COURTESY: PTI