Former Pakistani pacer Naved-ul-Hasan recently revealed an intriguing incident from the 2005 cricket series between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. In a candid interview, Naved shared how he successfully managed to get under the skin of the destructive Indian batsman Virender Sehwag, ultimately leading to his dismissal during a crucial match. The incident unfolded during the third ODI of the series when Sehwag was wreaking havoc on the Pakistani bowlers.
The encounter took place amidst an intense atmosphere as India had already clinched victories in the first two games of the five-match ODI series. Sehwag was in sensational form, thrashing the Pakistani bowlers with ease. With India approaching a daunting total of 300, Naved-ul-Hasan took it upon himself to curb Sehwag’s onslaught.
Recalling the pivotal moment, Naved stated that he approached captain Inzamam-ul-Haq requesting an opportunity to bowl. Inzamam agreed, acknowledging the need to break Sehwag’s momentum. Armed with determination and a tactical plan, Naved unleashed his strategy to disrupt the Indian opener’s rhythm.
Naved’s first delivery to Sehwag was a slower bouncer, which the explosive batsman failed to connect with. Seizing the opportunity, Naved verbally provoked Sehwag, remarking, “You don’t know how to play. Had you been in Pakistan, you wouldn’t have even made it to the international team.” Sehwag, known for his fearless attitude, responded with a few choice words, escalating the intensity of the exchange.
Unfazed by Sehwag’s retaliation, Naved confidently returned to his mark, determined to prove his point. With a well-calculated plan in mind, he unleashed a back-of-the-hand slower ball for the next delivery. An infuriated Sehwag attempted to dispatch the ball over the boundary but found himself caught in the field instead. The dismissal led to a crucial breakthrough, shattering India’s hopes of a commanding victory.
Virender Sehwag, dismissed for 89, had succumbed to Naved-ul-Hasan’s tactical and psychological assault. Pakistan went on to clinch a thrilling 11-run victory in the match, reducing India’s lead in the series. Naved’s success in getting under Sehwag’s skin became a memorable episode, highlighting the impact of mental gamesmanship in high-pressure cricket encounters.