Shoaib Akhtar recalls the toughest Indian batsman he faced on the pitch

Image Courtesy: Getty/Gulf News

Shoaib Akhtar was considered as one of the dangerous pace bowlers in world cricket. While many batsmen have faced his lethal pace, there was one batsman only whom he feels tough to ball. While many have thought it would be either Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly, the former pace bowler had something else to say. And he is none other than Rahul Dravid, one of the legends of the game of cricket.

Image Courtesy: Getty/Gulf News

“If a batsman used to play, like Rahul Dravid, we would bowl him length balls. From close to the stump we would aim at the gap between bat and pad, try to hit the ball on the pad,” Shoaib Akhtar said in a chat with Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel.

He further revealed an incident regarding Dravid where he and former teammate Shahid Afridi thought of a plan to get the former Indian batsman out. Akhtar was likely to point towards the final of the Pepsi Cup in the year 1999 where Sri Lanka was also included as the third team. India and Pakistan made it to the final, where chasing a 292 to win, Ajay Jadeja-led Indian team had lost a few early wickets.

“There was a final match in Bangalore, I had dismissed Sadagoppan Ramesh early, we took 3-4 wickets early. Sachin Tendulkar was not playing. Shahid Afridi and I said Rahul Dravid will take a lot of time and it’s Friday night today. Afridi said bowl something and take his wicket else he will play for long,” Akhtar recalled.

“I hit him directly on the pad and urged the umpire to raise his fingers. I even said it’s our Friday night. He did not give the decision in our favour but we had won in the end. Dravid was a difficult and determined batsman. It was difficult for me as well as him. He would play against me easily,” he concluded.

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