Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Cricket is nothing less than a religion in India, where not only the players are worshipped but every other kid also aspires to become a professional cricketer. Though all formats and matches of cricket are preached by every other Indian, the rivalry between India and Pakistan has a different fan base across the subcontinent. The God of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar recently revealed his pre-match pep talk to the Men in Blue ahead of their semifinal clash against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup.

The clash between the arch-rivals, India and Pakistan during the World Cup 2011 was once in a lifetime event, where the match was beyond bat and ball. Amongst the thousands attending the match at the PCA Stadium, Mohali were the Prime Ministers of both nations, and it was their ticket to the final of the World Cup 2011.

India won the semifinal clash against their fiercest rivals and then went on to lift the World Cup after a gap of 28 years. With this, Sachin Tendulkar finally achieved his lifelong dream of lifting the cup and it couldn't get more special as the final took place at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, in front of Tendulkar’s home crowd. Tendulkar, who recently turned 50, opened up about the incredible build-up before the match.

Recalling the iconic match, he said, "India was playing Pakistan. Both the Prime Ministers were going to be there. So it was very, very tight security. Because of security reasons, you know, our food hadn't reached the ground, and the whole team was agitated. The whole team was like, ‘Lunch kidhar hai? Where is our lunch? You know, this is the World Cup semi-finals, we need to prepare ourselves, and all that. And that continued for a while. Even when we went on the field for our warm-up session, there were still a couple of guys thinking about it."

Tendulkar used this opportunity to fire the team up and encourage them to play to the best of their capabilities. He huddled up the players, and told them, "The world is not bothered whether we've had our pre-match lunch or not. This is the World Cup semi-finals.  “ If you are so hungry, show the world how many runs you can score or how many wickets you can pick. That is what they're interested in. Nobody is interested in knowing whether you've had your lunch or breakfast. None. This is the World Cup semi-finals. Go out there and express yourselves."

The word of encouragement surely worked for the team, and they went on to win the match to advance to the finals of the ICC mega event. India put up a score of 260/9 for Pakistan to chase, which they failed to do so by 29 runs.