Shahid Afridi said in 2011 that he had seen Sachin Tendulkar’s legs trembling when Shoaib Akhtar came on to bowl and that the batting great was also scared of spinner Saeed Ajmal.
- Shahid Afridi defends 9-year-old claim, says Tendulkar was scared of Akhtar
- Sachin obviously won’t say it himself that ‘I’m scared’: Afridi
- Akhtar, in his autobiography, had said Sachin was scared of ‘his scorching pace’
Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has reiterated that Sachin Tendulkar was scared of facing Shoaib Akhtar, defending his 9-year-old claim.
Afridi said Tendulkar won’t accept that he was scared of Akhtar and said some of the former Pakistan fast bowler’s spells created panic in opposition batsmen’s minds. Afridi said he stands by his claim which he made in 2011.
It was Akhtar, who in his autobiography ‘Controversially Yours’ had claimed that Tendulkar was scared to ‘face his scorching pace’. Afridi had backed Akhtar’s claims in 2011.
Afridi had said he had seen Tendulkar’s ‘legs trembling when Shoaib came on to bowl’ while fielding at short-leg and that the Indian batting great also ‘looked scared of young spinner Saeed Ajmal’ during the World Cup in 2011.
“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 were troubled and shaken up,” Afridi told sports presenter Zainab Abbas during a YouTube conversation.
“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 doesn’t look his usual self.
“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 onto the backfoot.”
Tendulkar and Akhtar have had some memorable on-field battles in the past. In the 2003 World Cup, Tendulkar was dominating Akhtar before the Pakistan pacer stopped the batting great from getting to a memorable hundred.
Tendulkar averages over 45 against Akhtar in 19 ODIs while the Pakistan fast bowler has got him out 5 times. In Tests, Akhtar has got Tendulkar’s wicket 3 times in 9 matches.