You might get a beamer at your head; Shoaib Akhtar to Robin Uthappa
If you do it again, you might get a beamer at your head. This is exactly what Shoaib Akhtar told Robin Uthappa on latter's "walk out" shot. On a lighter note, Robin Uthappa shares details of an infamous incident of 2007 Pakistan tour of India.
Ace Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar has had numerous battles with top batsmen of his era. Be it Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, you name it all. One such incident was recalled by India and CSK batsmen Robin Uthappa early in his career. Here are some excerpts from a conversation with stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant on his YouTube channel ‘Wake Up With Sorabh’.
In the 2007 tour, India won the three-Test match series 1-0. In the one-day leg, the first match was won by India with a difference of five wickets. Pakistan batted first and scored 239 for seven wickets in 50 overs. India chased the target easily with the loss of five wickets.
Robin hit the winning runs. Those were the days where Robin was famous for his fearless walk-out shot. He would walk out of the crease (towards the bowler) before the bowler released the ball. One such shot was played by Robin Uthappa against Shoaib Akhtar who was one of the fastest bowlers in the world.
“I’ll share one story about Shoaib Akhtar. We were playing a game in Guwahati. And since it’s in the east of India, it gets dark there early. Back then, we did not have two new balls. After 34 overs, we used to get a ball that used to be 24 overs old but slightly better. Shoaib was bowling and Irfan and I was batting. I think we needed 12 to win off 25 balls or something like that,” Uthappa told Sourabh.
“I remember he bowled a yorker to me. I missed it from the arm and only saw it coming straight into the blockhole. I stopped the ball dead there. That was 154 something clicks. The next ball was a low full toss and I hit the ball for four. So after that, we needed 3 or 4 runs to win and I told myself, ‘Man, I have to walk out to Shoaib Akhtar and hit him. How many times will I get that opportunity.’ He bowled a length ball and I did it; it took the edge and it went for four. We won the match.”
Pakistan won the second match, India was victorious in the third. Before the fourth match, where players from across teams were having dinner together, this hilarious incident took place. Robin recalls himself –
“We went to Gwalior for the next game and I remember we all were having dinner together. I think we hung out at someone’s room and having a mean. Shoaib Bhai was there as well. He came to me and said ‘Robin… well played. Good game’. And then he said ‘One more thing… you walked out and hit me today. If you do that again, even I don’t know what will happen… you might get a beamer directed at your head.’ After that, I didn’t even dare walk out to him,” Uthappa confessed.