Sachin was scared of facing Shoaib, Ajmal: Afridi
Controversy and Shahid Afridi seem to be tied together. He is often seen claiming explosives remarks. Former Pakistan captain has claimed that Sachin Tendulkar was afraid to face former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. But according to Afridi, the ‘Little Master’ will never admit that.
A few days ago, Afridi claimed that Indian cricketers often apologized after losing to Pakistan. This time the explosive claim he has made about Sachin is also quite old.
This time, he added that Sachin was afraid to face Shoaib or he saw it with his own eyes while fielding in the cover or mid-off area.
“Dekhiye Sachin Tendulkar aapne muh se toh nahi kahega ki main dar raha hu. (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 also got shaken up.
“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 is not at his usual best. 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 including Tendulkar on to the backfoot,” Afridi told Zainab Abbas when he was asked whether he still stands by his statement made in 2011 that Tendulkar was scared of facing Akhtar.
Of course, Afridi is not alone, the same demand was made by Shoaib Akhtar himself. In his 2011 book ‘Controversially Yours’, the Rawalpindi Express claimed that Sachin was afraid of him. Afridi had gone on to back his teammate saying: “He (Tendulkar) was scared of Shoaib. I have seen it myself. I was fielding at square leg and saw his legs trembling when Shoaib came on to bowl.”
However, Afridi did not disclose when and in which match this happened. But then another explosive claim was made by the all-rounder, “During the World Cup, he also looked scared of (young spinner) Saeed Ajmal. It’s not a big deal, players do feel the pressure at times and it becomes difficult.”
Sachin vs Shoaib rivalry was quite old in international cricket. The India-Pakistan match meant that everyone was watching the fight between the two. Sometimes Sachin won the battle, so sometimes Shoaib won. In the nine Tests Shoaib played, Tendulkar scored 416 runs at an average of 41.60. On the other hand, Shoaib has dismissed Sachin three times in Tests. Tendulkar has scored 864 runs at an average of 45.47 in the 19 ODIs in which Shoaib was in the XI, with a strike rate of over 90. And in ODIs, Shoaib has dismissed Sachin 5 times.