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Mohammad Kaif Birthday Special: 87 vs England in 2002 Natwest Trophy Final & Other Impressive Knocks by Former Indian Batsman

Former Indian batsman and Kings XI Punjab fielding coach Mohammad Kaif celebrates his 40th birthday on Tuesday (December 1) and wishes are pouring in for him from all around the world. Born in 1980, Kaif has guided India to some memorable victories which are still fresh in fans’ mind. The right-handed batsman didn’t have the greatest of techniques, but his mental grit and ability to read the game made him a great asset. Moreover, Kaif is arguably India’s greatest fielder who turned the pendulum in his side’s favour with a brilliant catch or run-out. Below, we’ll revisit some of his best knocks. Happy Birthday Mohammad Kaif: 5 Stunning Catches by the Fielder That Will Leave Your Mouth Open.

Kaif burst onto the scenes in the Under-19 World Cup 2000 where he led India to the title. Months after, the youngster made his India debut and impressed one and all. He didn’t take long in cementing his place in the batting line-up starring Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Just two-year-old in international cricket, Kaif became a world icon after guiding his India to the 2002 Natwest Trophy triumph. He played several more impressive knocks in his career. Below, we’ll look at some of those. Sachin Tendulkar Recalls Hilarious Incident of Why Mohammad Kaif Was Nicknamed ‘Bhai Sahab.’

111 vs Zimbabwe in 2002

India were in all sorts of trouble against Zimbabwe in 2002 Champions Trophy after losing five wickets inside 90 runs. However, Kaif walked in at number seven with an aim to making a mark. The youngster started steadily with the Colombo track favouring the pacers. However, he shifted gears after settling his feet – scoring runs all over the park. His went on to score a stellar century as the Men in Blue posted 288/6 and eventually won the game by 14 runs.

95 vs South Africa in 2003

With the scorecard reading 175/3 in 34.3 overs, India were in great position against South Africa in Dhaka and the late flourishes were provided by Mohammad Kaif. He smashed the likes of Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock all over the park – pushing Proteas out of the contest. He scored 95 off 103 deliveries in total as India cruised to 307/4 and eventually won the game by 153 runs.

148 vs West Indies in 2006

Mostly known for his heroics in white-ball cricket, Kaif played a brilliant knock in the second Test of India’s 2006 tour of West Indies. Batting first in Gros Islet, the right-handed batsman came into bat at number six. He didn’t look in any trouble against the thunderbolts of Jerome Taylor Pedro Collins. Kaif scored his only Test century in that game as India posted a mountain of 588/8. The match resulted in a draw.

87 vs England in 2002

Now, let’s remember the knock which made Sourav Ganguly take his T-Shirt off in the Lord’s final. Chasing 326 in the final of Natwest Trophy 2002, India’s defeat looked inevitable with Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid back in the hut inside 150 runs. However, two youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif joined forces and swung the pendulum in the visitors’ favour. The latter was brilliant in particular as he scored 87 off 75 balls as India narrowly won the game by two wickets.

After announcing retirement from all forms of cricket in 2018, Kaif donned the commentators’ hat and has given his voice in many matches. He was also the fielding coach of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 01, 2020 07:50 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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