Sachin Tendulkar credits ex-India star for Afghanistan's success
The recognizable presence celebrating Afghanistan's remarkable victory over Pakistan in the ongoing 2023 ODI World Cup on Monday was none other than a former Indian cricketer who serves as the mentor for the Afghan team. Immediately after Afghanistan successfully chased down a target of 283 for victory, the atmosphere in the team's dugout at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai erupted in exultation, marking their inaugural One Day International (ODI) triumph against Pakistan.
In the midst of the jubilation, Ajay Jadeja, clad in an Afghanistan jersey could be seen exchanging hugs and smiles. He was lauded by Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar for his pivotal role in Afghanistan's two significant victories in this World Cup. Prior to their victory against the 1992 champions Pakistan, Afghanistan had already astounded the reigning champions, England.
Ajay Jadeja's legacy is also intertwined with the historic clashes between India and Pakistan. His scintillating 25-ball 45, which included dismantling Waqar Younis in India's triumph over Pakistan in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal in Bengaluru remains an iconic moment in the cricketing rivalry.
Afghanistan inches closer to the Top4 spot in the 2023 ODI World Cup league table
"Afghanistan's performance at this World Cup has been nothing short of outstanding...It could possibly be due to a certain Mr. Ajay Jadeja's influence," Tendulkar wrote in his post on microblogging websie 'X' (formerly Twiter).
Afghanistan's performance at this World Cup has been nothing short of outstanding. Their discipline with the bat, the temperament they've shown, and aggressive running between the wickets reflects their hard work. It could possibly be due to a certain Mr. Ajay Jadeja's influence.… pic.twitter.com/12FaLICQPs— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 23, 2023
On Monday, Afghanistan orchestrated their second major upset of the tournament, first led by the spellbinding performance of teenage spinner Noor Ahmad, who secured figures of 3/49. This was followed by solid half-century contributions from their top three batsmen. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65) and Ibrahim Zadran (87), the latter being honored as the 'Player of the Match,' initiated the Afghan run-chase with a formidable partnership of 130 runs. Rahmat Shah, holding the No. 3 position, ensured that the momentum was sustained, concluding his innings unbeaten at 77. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi, equally instrumental, played a crucial knock of 47 not out, sealing an undefeated partnership of 96 runs with Shah.
This defeat marked Pakistan's third consecutive setback after commencing the tournament with two consecutive triumphs. With two wins in five matches, Afghanistan ascended to the sixth position on the points table, while Pakistan retained the fifth spot with identical results and points, maintaining an edge in net run rate.