Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been a nightmare to many of the world’s best batsmen because of his unbelievably high pace. In his career lasting more than 14 years, Akhtar has bowled to many legends of the game such as Tendulkar, Dravid, Ponting, Sangakkara, Jayasuriya, Lara and many more. However, in a recent interview, the Rawalpindi Express has come up with a very unexpected revelation.
To everyone’s surprise, Akhtar has revealed that the toughest batsman that he has ever bowled to is none but the legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Shoaib Akhtar’s choice was surprising to everyone as given the quality of batsmen during his time as an active cricketer. Him selecting Muttiah Muralitharan as the most difficult batsman to bowl to puzzled many, as Murali batted at no.11 for Sri Lanka.
He used to come to the crease at a time when Shoaib Akhtar was ready to bounce the batters out. Akhtar shared that Muralitharan used to come up to him and request him to bowl fuller, and in return, he would promise get out.
“Muttiah Muralitharan is the toughest batsman I have bowled to. I am not even kidding. He requested me not to kill him and told me that he will die if I hit him with a bouncer. He said, ‘Please pitch the ball up and I will give you the wicket away’. Whenever I pitched the ball up he just used to slash hard and used to tell me that he hit it by mistake,” Akhtar told Sportskeeda on the show ‘Quick Singles’.
Now that you hear it, it may sound a little funny or childish from Muralitharan’s end but keeping in mind the kind of pace that Akhtar generated in his bowling that time, it may only seem a logical option for the Sri Lankan great.
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