The former Indian batsman, Virender Sehwag unveils an interesting story that how Sachin Tendulkar shielded Sehwag from Wasim Akram in the World Cup 2003. Sehwag in a Youtube channel, What the Duck with Sachin Tendulkar revealed that he was frightened to face Wasim Akram during the World Cup of 2003.
Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar are among the most lovable opening pair of Team India. They have hammered 12 centuries and 18 half-centuries stand together in 93 innings between 2002-2012.
On the show of 'What the Duck' hosted by Vikram Sathaye, Sehwag revealed how Sachin Tendulkar pulled Sehwag's leg all the time by suddenly taking the strike to face Wasim Akram.
Sehwag did not want to face the left-arm pacer because in earlier matches he went out to Chaminda Vaas and Nathan Bracken. The Nawab of Najafgarh has revealed how he requested Sachin Tendulkar to take the strike early on but he refused.
Pakistan had posted 274 runs in the first innings to which Sachin and Sehwag provided an early start to the team with hitting boundaries to the Wasim Akram.
During the first innings, Tendulkar had kept rejecting Sehwag's offer only to suddenly walk up to striker's end and face deadly Wasim Akram. Sachin went on to take a single on the first ball and Virender Sehwag was back on the crease with insisting him to take quick singles even if the ball goes to the wicket-keeper.
"The story is, we were fielding first, so entire 50 overs I was telling him, Wasim Akram will bowl the first over. And I was so bad with left-arm fast bowlers that I, in the past, had gotten out to Akram, Chaminda Vaas and Nathan Bracken in the first ball," Sehwag said during the chat show of What the Duck.
I was telling him [Tendulkar] the entire 50 overs, And he said 'my number is two, I will remain at two only'. After that, it was lunchtime and I was running behind him, pleading. He kept saying: 'No, my number is 2.'
"Finally I crossed the (boundary) line, I said, take the strike. He said 'no'. We reached the 30-meter circle. I requested him again, he refused.
"Then suddenly he went straight to take a strike against Wasim Akram. I thought: 'Was he playing with me all the time?'
I was a little scared. The first ball [over], he took a single and the second ball, I was on strike against Akram. He then wanted to save me. So to do so, he said: 'even if the ball goes to the keeper, we run.' I thought it was better to get run out than to lose his wicket to Akram.
Indian cricket team had won that match by 6 wickets with 26 balls to spare. Sachin Tendulkar was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant performance to score 98 runs with the bat. India further went ahead to play Australia in the final of World Cup 2003 where the team had to face a loss by a huge margin of 125 runs.
(Inputs from IBT)