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“Is he God?” I will not spare him ‘: Shoaib Akhtar recalls his run for rivalry with Tendulkar

Considered to be one of the most intense rivalries in the game, Indo-Pakistan matches have often been games of high intensity and entertainment. From the Sohail-Prasad joke to the Gambhir-Afridi war, cricket between the two countries has often led to battles between players on the pitch. However, one of the most valuable has been between two of the biggest players from the respective countries, Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar. Akhtar, on the one hand, holds the record for the fastest ball while Tendulkar, the batting maestro, has been regarded as the “god” of cricket.

Recalling his rivalry with Sachin Tendulkar, Shoaib Akhtar in a recent interview revealed his first thoughts before meeting Tendulkar. The Rawalpindi Express recalled that he had heard that Tendulkar was considered the “god of cricket” and that he then believed he would not spare the Indian. Speaking to a Pakistani news channel, Akhtar said: “I had heard that he was God and I thought that if he was God, I would not spare him. I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me. He had his own attitude and I had mine. I wanted to have its wicket on my first bowl and I got it. ”

READ | “ Some spells pushed him on his back: ‘Afridi claims Tendulkar was’ afraid’ of Akhtar

In the same interview, he also mentioned that he had been approached by several people for arranging matches between India and Pakistan. “Several people approached me for redress,” Akhtar said. The former Pakistani skipper went on to say that Shoaib Malik was neither a great captain nor a great batsman and Pakistani cricket had not improved under the reign of World Cup-winning skipper Imran Khan. Previously, former Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi had claimed that “certain spells” of Shoaib Akhtar had pushed some of the best in the world, including Tendulkar, to the rear. In 2011, in his book, the former skipper said that the great Indian was “afraid” to face the Rawalpindi Express and that he had seen it himself.

READ | “ Like men preying on boys: ” Du Plessis remembers when Kohli & Co. rioted against Proteas

“You can easily understand that a drummer is under pressure, he’s not at his usual best. I’m not saying Shoaib always scared Tendulkar but there were some Shoaib spells that drove some of the best. to the world, including Tendulkar in the background, ”said former Pakistani skipper Afridi.

READ | Shoaib Akhtar cherishes battles against Sachin Tendulkar and says they were his ‘treasure’

Sachin-Shoaib battle

The rivalry between Sachin Tendulkar and Pakistani Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar has often thrilled fans. The duo first faced off in the 1999 Asian Test Championship where Akhtar got the better of Little Master on his very first bowl. However, the Indian came back stronger in the next battle, which was one of the most epic as he rioted against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup, crushing 98 races from 75 balls. Over the years, veteran cricketers have met on several occasions, but every time they have faced each other pure competition and a determination to come out on top has been seen.

READ | Sachin Tendulkar shares a photo from his childhood on Friendship Day. Can you spot it?

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