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Don't worry, Sachin: Miandad

Faisal Shariff in Multan | March 30, 2004 16:52 IST

Twenty-two years ago Javed Miandad was batting on 280 and inching towards a triple century on day 3 in the fourth Test of the series against India. Sir Garfield Sobers's world record of 365 not out was under threat, but Pakistan skipper Imran Khan chose to declare the innings at 581 for 3, leaving Miandad shocked and disappointed.

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"At the end of the second day no one spoke about any declaration. The captain did not say anything or give me any hint about his plans. I thought I would get the world record but when the declaration came I could do nothing about it," Miandad told on Monday, after India had declared their first innings in the first Test against Pakistan with Sachin Tendulkar six short of a double century.

"I asked questions but no one answered," he added.

Miandad said his mind went back to that match in 1983 after watching Tendulkar stranded on 194.

 "They should have let him score the double century. He was not asking for one hour. How many minutes would those six runs have taken?" he asked.

He said Tendulkar was justified in expressing his displeasure about the timing of the declaration "because cricket is a give and take relationship between individual players and the team".

"Players play for the team, work hard for the team, sacrifice their wicket for the team when the situation demands. The team should also give something back to its colleague," Miandad said.

"If I was their coach I would have let him score those six runs.

"Look at the scenario: they were not winning the game; it was just the second day and it was a matter of just one over for someone like Tendulkar.

"Nobody minds these things. They bowled 16 overs to us; they would have probably bowled 14. How would that have changed anything?" he asked.

He recollected the instance when Saqlain Mushtaq was on the verge of scoring his maiden Test century in New Zealand.

"We let him get it. It gives the player a lot of confidence and can also at times help him get back any temporary loss of form. Players like to be remembered by their records.

"I will only advice Sachin to carry on.

"Don't worry, Sachin, it is a part of life. Mistakes happen and your team mates have made a mistake," he said.

Praising Virender Sehwag for his record-breaking triple century, Miandad said that he was not a great fan of his batting till the record-breaking 309.

"Sehwag ne different batting ki hai yaha [Sehwag batted differently in this Test]. I saw him bat in Australia when he got that 195. Mujhe waha uski batting pasand nahi aaye thi [I did not like his batting then].

"Sehwag was not slogging in this innings. To stand there for one-and-a-half day is not joke. And that too against the best bowling attack in the world. It was amazing to see the way he was destroying the bowling and yet playing sensibly.

"Shahid Afridi is also in the same mould, but Sehwag is on another level. Afridi can also bat like crazy, but the only thing is that he should wait at the wicket. He runs out of his crease faster than the bowler runs in to bowl."

He said both Sehwag and Afridi are cut from the same cloth, but if Afridi can improve his temperament he could be amongst the best batsmen in the world.

As of now, he believes Sehwag's batting style is unique and could set a new world order in batsmanship.

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