Former India middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif on Monday (April 21) said that he had thought the famous NatWest Series final against England was lost when star batsman Yuvraj Singh got out during the tough chase of 326 at Lord’s in 2002.
It may be recalled that India India won the match by two wickets defying all odds and it became possible only because of a 121-run stand between Kaif and Yuvraj.
India, led by Sourav Ganguly, were tottering at 146/5 at one stage when Kaif and Yuvraj joined hands to help the Men In Blue register a memorable victory.
Kaif remained unbeaten on 87 but Yuvraj got out on 69 in 42nd over. India needed 59 runs for victory at that stage and Kaif batted well to snatch a historic win for India.
“When you (Yuvraj) got out, I thought the match is gone. I did not think we will win,” Kaif said in an Instagram Live chat with Yuvraj.
“I was set, you were there. So I believed if we played till the end India win will. But you got out and India lost hope and my heart broke,” Kaif added.
Kaif also mentioned Yuvraj`s 25-ball 58 against Australia in the 2000 U-19 World Cup when the former was leading the team as one of the best knocks of the southpaw.
“That innings, the way you dominated the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson was amazing. You have many superb knocks, you hit six sixes…but to me at the U-19 level to see someone bat like that…was special. We all knew you will go far and play for a long time,” Kaif said.
Widely considetred as one of the best fielders in India, Kaif said he worked hard on his fielding because he wanted to be remembered as a good fielder.
“I always wanted to be different and I wanted to focus on fielding. I worked really hard on my fielding.”
For his part, Yuvraj said that he and Kaif played an important role in changing the momentum for India on the field during those days.
“At point and cover we changed the momentum in a lot of ways. Now the team has so many good fielders but I feel we changed the momentum,” said Yuvraj.