WC 2003 - Sachin played out of his skin, gave us nightmare: Akhtar

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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London: The "Rawalpindi Express" now doesn't know what derailed him. Pakistan's tearaway fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has written in a British newspaper that the treatment given to him by Sachin Tendulkar in the Indo-Pak World Cup clash last week was a "nightmare"."I don't know what has gone wrong for me in this World Cup. I went for 72 off 10 overs against India," Shoaib said in an article in 'The Guardian'.Shoaib, who had talked big ahead of the clash singling out Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid as his main targets, was smashed for 18 runs in his very first over he bowled and the bowler admitted that had dented his confidence."My confidence was very low after I went for 18 off my first over and Waqar Younis immediately took me out of the attack," said the bowler who had boasted ahead of the match that he would let himself go at the Indian batsmen, particularly Tendulkar. "I would like to bowl as quick as possible. Tendulkar is world's best and I am the fastest," Shoaib had said before the Saturday match. "My ambition is to be man-of-the-tournament in this World Cup."But the hiding he got from Tendulkar left him wondering whether the total given by his team's batsmen was enough for the Indians. "If I am honest, I think our batters should have given us at least 300 to defend on that track," Shoaib said. "Then again, Sachin just played out of his skin, so maybe there was nothing we could have done. I did produce a beauty to get Sachin out, but the wholething was a nightmare," Shoaib said.Shoaib admitted that he, and his teammates, bowled badly in the game against India but asserted that he still was a match-winning bowler. "I'm not going to make any excuses about the India game... I take the blame. But you have to pick yourself up and keep on learning. I am still a match-winning bowler. PTI

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