Indian legend and ICC Global Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar (left) speaks with Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran (centre) and Naveen-ul-Haq on the eve of their match against Australia in Mumbai. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Indian cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar has 100 centuries to his credit and has been an inspiration to many in the last few decades, including Virat Kohli.

But the legendary batter’s recent pep talk to Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran has helped the opener score his maiden World Cup century against Australia on Tuesday.

“I had a good chat with Sachin Tendulkar. He shared his experience of 24 years and I said before the match that I will bat like Sachin Tendulkar. He gave me a lot of energy and confidence,” the 21-year-old Zadran, who had missed the milestone by 13 runs against Pakistan, told the official broadcasters after the Afghanistan innings.

Zadran’s unbeaten 129 with seven fours also gave him the honour of becoming the first Afghanistan batsman to score a century in the World Cup, his fifth in 27 games.

Afghanistan batting has had a matured approach during this World Cup, that has helped them chase big targets against defending champions England and Pakistan.

Putting Australia on the mat

Buoyed by that confidence, the Afghans have gone on to beat Sri Lanka and are on the verge of defeating five-time champions Australia after having them on the mat .

“I am feeling great after scoring Afghanistan’s maiden hundred in World Cup. I worked really hard for this tournament, I missed a hundred against Pakistan, but made it today. I was talking to my coaching staff and I told them I have a feeling I will get a hundred in next three matches,” added Zadran, who has been giving Afghanistan impressive starts along with Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

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Afghanistan's Ibrahim Zadran celebrates after scoring his maiden World Cup century against Australia in Mumbai on Tuesday. Image Credit: AFP

Good partnerships

“If we had made good partnerships and kept wickets in hand, we would have scored 330, but we lost a few wickets and didn’t get the kind of partnership we were looking for, but Rashid played well in the end. We have plan for every opposition and it was our aim to put this score,” he said.

Zadran and Rashid put an unbroken 58-run partnership for the sixth wicket in 27 balls, that seemed to have tilted the balance in Afghanistan’s favour.