Birthday special: Mohammad Kaif – Three best knocks of his career

Mohammad Kaif

Mohammad Kaif is one of the finest cricketers to have represented India at the highest level and was one of the most athletic fielders along with Yuvraj Singh in the early and mid-2000s. Apart from his livewire efforts on the field, Kaif was also known for his electrifying running between the wickets.

However, the UP cricketer could not establish himself in the Indian team for a long time as his batting performances kept dwindling and after the South Africa ODIs in November 2006, he was never considered for national selection.

Without further ado, here’s a look at Mohammad Kaif’s three best knocks in international cricket as he turns 43.

3) 111* vs Zimbabwe, 2002:

India and Zimbabwe clashed in an ICC Champions Trophy 2002 fixture at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Batting first, the Men in Blue were tottering at 87/5 and that is when Mohammad Kaif and Rahul Dravid carried out the rescue act with a match-defining 117-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Kaif went on to score an unbeaten 111 which also happened to be his maiden ODI century as India finished at 288/6.

In reply, the Zimbabweans gave India a run for their money but were eventually restricted to 274/8 as Ganguly & Co. registered a 14-run win.

2) 102* vs New Zealand, 2005:

This was one of the best innings from Kaif which came against a formidable New Zealand bowling attack that had restricted India to 44/8 earlier in the tri-series.

The fifth match that was played at the Harare Sports Club saw the Kiwis post a formidable 278/9 on the board and in reply, the Men in Blue were reeling at 75/2.

Mohammad Kaif then took the responsibility of anchoring the Indian chase and was involved in a 101-run stand with Rahul Dravid for the third wicket. In the end, Kaif and Dhoni finished the proceedings as India won by six wickets and 15 balls to spare.

Kaif was adjudged the Player of the Match for his blistering 102*.

1) 87* vs England, 2002:

This knock made Mohammad Kaif an overnight sensation. India were in deep trouble at 146/5 chasing a mammoth 326 in the Natwest series final at Lord’s and that is when he and Yuvraj Singh did the unthinkable with an outstanding 121-run stand for the sixth wicket. While the English bowlers took wickets from one end, Kaif stood like a wall from the other and kept the scoreboard ticking.

In the end, India emerged victorious by two wickets in the final over and the UP cricketer was named the Man of the Match for his stupendous knock of an unbeaten 75-ball 87.