Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi opined that the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, including many other best batsman of the cricket world, was afraid of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s spell at times.
Shoaib Akhtar for the lethal bowler who intimidated the batsman with his bouncers and pace. He holds the record for bowling the fastest delivery ever in world cricket at 161.3 kph which came against England in an ODI game in 2003.
Shoaib Akhtar has pushed some of the world’s best including Sachin Tendulkar on backfoot: Shahid Afridi
In the recent interaction, Shahid Afridi revealed that he had sensed during his cricketing days that Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest batsman of all the time, feared to face former pacer Akhtar in some spells during their famous duels. He added that not only Sachin but the allrounder has seen several batsmen got nervous seeing the pacer clocking the bowl at speed.
“Sachin obviously won’t say it himself that ‘I’m scared’. There were some spells from Shoaib Akhtar in which not only Sachin but some of the world’s best also got shaken up,” Afridi told TV anchor Zainab Abbas in a chat on her YouTube channel.
“When you are fielding at mid-off or covers, you can see it. You can sense the body language of a player. You can easily understand that a batsman is under pressure, he is not at his usual best. I’m not saying that Shoaib has scared Tendulkar always but there have been some spells from Shoaib that have pushed some of the world’s best including Tendulkar onto the backfoot,” Afridi said.
Afridi also went on to add that Tendulkar looked scared to face off-spinner Saeed Ajmal too during the 2011 World Cup which India won.
Talking about the battle between Akhtar and Sachin, the pacer three out of nine times took the wicket of Sachin in Tests while in ODIs, he dismissed Sachin for five times in 19 occasions.