During the 2003 World Cup, nails were being bitten, hairs were being pulled, and expectations were through the roof. Two stellar teams, a legendary rivalry was unfolding between India and Pakistan. India’s best, Sachin Tendulkar, was facing Pakistan’s best, Shoaib Akhtar. It was intense, entertaining and unforgettable. To this day, fans still remember Sachin Tendulkar’s iconic uppercut to Shoaib Akhtar during the 2003 World Cup. It’s forever etched in cricket history, and in the minds of everyone who witnessed it.
Recently, though, the Master Blaster himself shared a surprising story behind the shot. In a recently held Q&A session with his fans, Tendulkar revealed that he instinctively took the shot, and that he never practiced it in the nets.
A fan asked, “#AskSachin did you practice upper-cut shot or just instinct when your playing”
“It happened in 2002 in South Africa, when we were playing a Test match in Bloemfontein. We were batting first and Makhaya Ntini was bowling around the off stump as he normally used to bowl short of a length. He rarely bowled length deliveries. Since he used to run wide of the crease, I could sight the line.
“The South African pitches offer enough bounce. The normal tendency to deal with those bouncers is to go top of the bowl. And if it bounces more than usual for somebody of my height, why not get under it and still be aggressive and attacking,” said Sachin in a YouTube video
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“That was something I felt. Instead of getting on top of the ball and trying to keep it all along the ground, get under it and play it towards third man boundary, utilizing the pace,” Sachin added.
“That shot disturbed a number of fast bowlers because they bowl bouncers to concede a dot ball. But I converted those into boundaries. I actually didn’t plan anything. Sometimes you just have to let your natural instincts take over after getting at the crease. And that’s what I did,” said Sachin.
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