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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Target Tendulkar for Akhtar

Faisal Shariff in Johannesburg | February 27, 2003 20:55 IST

Shoaib on the game against India

This World Cup belongs to the team with wicket-taking bowlers, not the economical ones.

Shoaib Akhtar stands out amongst the front-runners in that club with ten wickets from four matches and this Saturday he will have to fulfill his potential and achieve something more challenging than breaking down the 100mph barrier.

Pakistan must win against India if they have to proceed to the Super Six stage. If they don't it will be the first time they have failed to make the knockout stage.

Akhtar understands the importance of the match and believes he performs better in pressure situations.

"India are playing well but the intensity will be high and I promise a good game of cricket," he said.

With a bunch of grapes clutched in his hands and beads of sweat running down his face after an intensive practice session at the picturesque Randjesfontein ground in Johannesburg, Akhtar spoke with verve and abandoned modesty.

"I am targeting the entire Indian team but Sachin Tendulkar is my main target. Also Rahul Dravid; he is the key to the lower order. He comes in and scores 50 runs in no time," he said.

"I love to bowl to the bigger names and Tendulkar is one of them. I will also go for (Virender) Sehwag. But Tendulkar is the greatest," he said, adding that bowling to the Indians is easier because they struggle against genuine pace.

Though the Centurion wicket has more bounce than most other wickets in the country, Akhtar dismissed the pitch factor saying he was quick through the air and concentrates only on getting batsmen bowled or LBW.

In addition, Akhtar heads the batting averages for his team and is quite excited about it.

"These days I wake up and ask where my bat is. I always knew I had the potential to bat and now I am taking it more seriously. I am not very good at it but I am trying hard. Getting a 25-30 regularly can be useful."

When asked if he would try for the 100 mph target again against India, he said, "I have done it already and I know I am capable of bowling faster at about 165 kmph. But it is more important that I take wickets than bowl fast. After I started well against England, I lost my concentration and got hit for runs. I didn't sleep all night because I know I can be an economical bowler. We are here to try hard and win. Inshallah, if God wills, we will win."

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Number of User Comments: 231




Sub: RE:the statement

dera varsha i completely agrre with the pont u mentioned aman


Posted by aman





Sub: RE:Barking dogs seldom bite

well done john,what ever u said is true.if all people think in the same way.their might not be any fighting or quarrles on indian streets.


Posted by harika





Sub: on shoaib's statement

sorry shoaib! all the preparation U did for match against India gone to vein. I hope U must understand why sachin is called "master blaster",sehwag" ...


Posted by khurram sajjad





Sub: Helloooooo Mr.Rawalpindi X....

Hello Mr.Shoib, Did u ever hear about LINE and LENGTH in Cricket? First, plz concentrate on them , u maybe the fastest, but Englandís Anderson ...


Posted by Kamal





Sub: Akthar target to Tendulkar

Dear Akthar, i am really sorry about you... in one day cricket not enough in cricket the speed is not a matter, are u bowling ...


Posted by M. Murali




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