New Delhi: Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif is celebrating his 42nd birthday today. Mohammad Kaif, who made a place in the team under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, is known for his prompt fielding. With this, he has been a great middle-order batsman. Kaif last played for the Indian team about 14 years ago. He played 13 Tests and 125 ODIs for India.
In the 2003 World Cup, Kaif played a great role for India with fielding and batting. The Indian team was runners-up in this World Cup. But Kaif's most brilliant innings was seen in the final of the NatWest series against England at Lord's in 2002 when he led Team India to the title victory. This inning played on the Lord's ground is also the favorite innings of Mohammad Kaif himself. On July 13, 2002, India was playing the final match of the NatWest Trophy, and hosts England challenged India by giving a target of 326 runs. Team India Sehwag Ganguly's pair gave a great start and made a century partnership for the opening wicket.
But as soon as Captain Ganguly (60) was dismissed, the team's score was 106 runs. After this, half of India's team returned to the pavilion within the next 40 runs (146/5). After Sourav Ganguly, Sehwag (45), Dinesh Mongia (9), Rahul Dravid (5), and Sachin Tendulkar (14) returned to the pavilion. Now Team India had only 2 batsmen left and after them, only the bowlers were left in the Indian camp. From here, Team India needed 180 runs in 26 overs. Both Yuvi and Kaif were young players then and no one expected India will win the match. But Kaif took the lead with Yuvraj and a 123-run partnership has been made for the sixth wicket. Yuvraj Singh (69) was dismissed at a score of 267. India still needed 59 runs from here in 52 balls. Kaif kept playing a fine game and he along with Harbhajan Singh brought India closer to the target. Soon after Bhajji was dismissed, India was 12 runs away from victory with 15 balls to go. Meanwhile, Anil Kumble returned to the pavilion without opening the account.
But Kaif did not give up and he along with Zaheer Khan (4*) took India to victory with 3 balls to spare. Kaif, who scored 87* off 75 balls, hit 6 fours and 2 sixes. He was given man of the match for this match-winning knock. Talking about Kaif's entire international career, he scored 2,753 runs in 13 Tests at an average of 32. At the same time, his average in 125 ODIs has been 32.