Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar agonized the batters in world cricket in his prime. He used to rattle the batters with his dreadful bouncers and reversing toe crushers at thunderbolt pace. Akhtar’s on-field battles with Sachin Tendulkar were enthralling for the fans to watch. They played against each other several times, however, the pacer admitted that Sachin Tendulkar played him the best during the 1999 World Cup.
The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ was at his prime during the 1999 World Cup, which was hosted primarily by England, with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Netherlands acting as co-hosts. Akhtar took 16 wickets in 10 matches in the tournament, at an average of 24.43 and an economy rate of 4.83. He was Pakistan’s second leading wicket-taker in the tournament, after Saqlain Mushtaq.
In a video shared by Star Sports, Shoaib Akhtar spoke about India’s clash with Pakistan at the 1999 World Cup. He expressed that while other batters from the world feared facing him in the tournament, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar played him the best. Akhtar said,
“This Pakistan team used to get to the ground against India with unnecessary pressure. We even choked in the 2003 World Cup. But Sachin played me the best during the 1999 World Cup. All the other batters were scared of me at that time. Many batters of the world used to stop moving their feet against me.”
There is nothing like watching @shoaib100mph discussing all things #INDvPAK with @bhogleharsha! 🤩#BelieveInBlue #INDvPAK #TeamIndia #GreatestRivalry pic.twitter.com/EDC44Q1jkp
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) August 19, 2022
Why don’t you just play it as a normal match? – Shoaib Akhtar on India vs Pakistan matches hype
India vs Pakistan matches always attract a huge crowd in the stadiums. Even off the field, the hype around the clash is big. The players often feel the pressure getting to them during India vs Pakistan matches. Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar expressed that the Pakistan team used to get pressurized by that hype. He stated,
“We, as (the) Pakistan team, used to play against India, why don’t you just play it as a normal match? We had come (into the 1999 World Cup) beating India in ODIs as well as Tests in their backyard. (It was) just the added pressure of the World Cup as well as the huge hype. Pakistan team used to get pressurized by that hype. This hype was created by TV (media) and we all used to watch TV.”
Team India will take on Pakistan on Sunday, August 28 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in their opening match of the Asia Cup. The two teams will again clash later this year in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup.
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