Shoaib Akhtar was renowned for his high-handedness and outspoken remarks during his playing days. Even after retirement, the Rawalpindi Express caught everyone’s eye by his shrewd words. Akhtar is known to be a harsh critic of several individuals, but he also lavishes praises on certain personalities. One of such personalities is none other than the Wall, Rahul Dravid.
In a recent interview with Dawn, Akhtar said that it was Rahul Dravid who gave him the biggest nightmares during his playing days. Dravid also went on to say that Dravid was a tougher competitor than Sachin Tendulkar.
“Yes, Sachin made me a star. So I’m thankful to him. He’s a great batsman, without a doubt. He can play better than anyone else. When he got going, he was a nightmare. But the biggest nightmare I ever faced was Rahul Dravid. He used to bore me. He was the first batsman who could intimidate me, in terms of when he walked in, I knew I would have to field for at least two sessions more,” Akhtar said.
Akhtar in an earlier interview had related Dravid to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and said that like Ali, Dravid too could “tire out” his opponent. “He was like Mohammad Ali, he would tire you out and then knock you down.”
“The only guy who could stop him [Dravid] was Wasim [Akram], I had no ability to do that. I think in Test matches he was the toughest I bowled to. Sachin was a brutal force. When he got going, he made sure he scored runs. But Dravid killed you mentally. And physically he tired you,” said the Rawalpindi Express.