'This is a God?': Shoaib Akhtar Recalls Facing Sachin Tendulkar For The First Time

‘This is a God?’: Shoaib Akhtar Recalls Facing Sachin Tendulkar For The First Time

Shoaib Akhtar,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar had some memorable duels on the cricket field during their cricket careers. The contest between the two was liked by cricket fans around the world and both of them gave their best during the famous duels. Tendulkar was already one of the best batsmen in the world when Shoaib Akhtar was trying to find his feet in international cricket.

However, it did not stop the former Pakistan pacer from giving Tendulkar a run for his money. Shoaib Akhtar, in fact, came out on top on several occasions during his duels with the batting legend while the latter also had his moments.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar (Image Credit: IANS)

Shoaib Akhtar recently recalled his first-ever meeting with the legendary Tendulkar, who is referred to as the ‘God of cricket’ by millions of fans around the world. The former cricketers first locked horns against each other during the Kolkata Test in 1999. Recalling the match, Shoaib Akhtar said his first reaction was ‘iski khairiyat nahi’ ( he won’t get spared) while he was getting ready to bowl to Tendulkar.

“I heard Sachin was the god. I said this is a god? Iss ki khairiyat nahi. He didn’t recognize me, and I didn’t recognize him. He was in his own attitude and I was in my attitude. But I wanted to get him out on the first ball and that happened,” Akhtar told Pakistani news channel ARY News in an interview on Saturday.

Shoaib Akhtar had castled Tendulkar on the very first ball and had gone on to star in the match. Before dismissing Tendulkar, he had dismissed Rahul Dravid on the previous delivery and had finished the innings with impressive figures of 4/71. He picked up another four-wicket haul in the second innings to help Pakistan win the Test match by 46 runs.

The rivalry:

Tendulkar, who is the all-time leading run-getter in both Tests and ODIs, averaged 45.5 in ODIs against Pakistan in 19 matches involving Shoaib Akhtar and 41.60 in 9 Tests involving the former pacer. On the other hand, Shoaib Akhtar, who picked up 444 international wickets and holds the record for bowling the fastest delivery in international cricket, dismissed the Master Blaster 5 times in ODIs and three times in Tests.

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