'Couldn't trust what Shoaib would do if he was hit twice to the fence': Sehwag on why Akhtar is his 'boundary bowler'

  • Sehwag spoke about Shoaib's bowling action which he admitted made him difficult to face unlike Australian pace great Brett Lee, whose bowling arm came down straight.
Shoaib Akhtar and Virender Sehwag
Shoaib Akhtar and Virender Sehwag
Updated on May 18, 2022 07:49 AM IST
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Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has had a impressive rivalry with Pakistan great Shoaib Akhtar. He enjoyed facing the former cricketer and going up against Pakistan in Tests, and the numbers speak of itself - an average of 90 with a century, two double tons and a triple. However, on Tuesday, the India great called out former Pakistan fast bowler’s action.

Speaking to former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar on on Home of Heroes on Sports18, Sehwag spoke about Shoaib's bowling action which he admitted made him difficult to face unlike Australian pace great Brett Lee, whose bowling arm came down straight.

“Shoaib knows he used to jerk his elbow; he knew he was chucking too. Why would ICC ban him otherwise?” Sehwag said with a chuckle. “Brett Lee’s hand came down straight, so it was easy to pick the ball. But with Shoaib, you could never guess where the hand and the ball will come from.”

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The veteran India cricketer then picked former New Zealand cricketer Shane Bond as the toughest bowler he has ever faced, although he did name Lee and Akhtar as the two quickest bowlers he has faced.

“His deliveries would come swinging into your body, even if he bowled outside off stump,” Sehwag said on the New Zealand cricket great.

“I never feared facing Brett Lee, but with Shoaib, I could not trust what he would do if I hit him twice to the fence. Maybe a beamer or a toe-crushing yorker,” admitted Sehwag, who considers the Pakistan pacer his ‘boundary bowler’.

Sehwag also shed light on his ‘see the ball, hit the ball’ strategy in Tests

“Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly all would score their centuries playing 150-200 balls. If I scored hundreds at the same rate, no one would remember me. I had to score runs faster than them to create my identity. I always thought that if I stayed till the end of the day, I should score 250 runs, and in that process, I obviously would have to cross 100, 150, 200 and so on. So, there was no pressure in hitting a ball to or over the fence in the nineties because the goal was not to stop at 100," he said. 

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