Sachin Tendulkar was scared while facing Shoaib Akhtar
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has made the star batsmen tremble in the storm of speed throughout his career. In 2011, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi said he saw Sachin Tendulkar’s knees shake while Shoaib Akhtar was playing ball. Afridi says he is still adamant in his comments made 9 years ago. Furthermore, Shahid Afridi also said that Sachin Tendulkar was scared while facing Shoaib Akhtar but he never admits it.
Afridi said, ‘He (Sachin) was afraid of Shoaib Akhtar. I saw it with my own eyes. I was fielding in the square leg and saw his legs shake while Shoaib was bowling. You can see that when you are fielding in mid-off or cover. You can understand the body language of a player. You can easily catch a batsman under pressure, he is not in his best condition.
In a recent conversation with Pakistani TV presenter Zainab Abbas, Afridi said that Sachin was not always afraid of Shoaib. But some spells would say, ‘I’m not saying that Tendulkar was always afraid of Shoaib. But there were some spells of Shoaib that would force any big batsman in the world to go backfoot. Among them is Tendulkar.
Afridi said Sachin, India’s batting god, feared not only Shoaib Akhtar but also Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. The 40-year-old Afridi added, “Sachin Saeed was also afraid to handle Ajmal during the World Cup (2011). It’s not a big deal. Players sometimes feel pressure and it becomes difficult.
However, the statistics also show the discomfort of the Indian legend in Shoaib Akhtar. Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has guided Tendulkar to the dressing room 3 times in 9 Tests and 5 times in 19 ODIs.