Pakistan’s legendary all-rounder, Shahid Afridi, recently opened up on the toughest batsman he has ever bowled to.
Afridi, during his illustrious career, played along with several giants of the game. The renowned partnership breaker bowled to the likes of Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, and Rahul Dravid but named West Indies’ talisman Brian Lara as the toughest batsman he has bowled to.
According to Afridi, despite dismissing Lara on several occasions, he had a fear of being hit to the fence every delivery – such was the class of the Trinidadian.
“That would have to be Brian Lara. I got him out a few times but whenever I was bowling to him I always had the feeling in the back of my mind that he is going to hit me for four the next ball. He had an effect on me. I never bowled with any confidence to him,” Afridi told Wisden.
Moreover, Afridi added that even spin wizards such as Muttiah Muralitharan was dominated by the ‘sheer class’ of Lara.
“He was a world-class batsman who dominated the best spinners he came up against, even the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan in Sri Lanka. His footwork against spinners was brilliant, and the way he batted against such bowlers was a wonderful sight. He was sheer class,” Afridi concluded.
With a whopping tally of 22358 runs, Lara stands seventh in the list of highest run-scorers in international cricket. Also, the southpaw smashed 53 tons in all formats of the game, which is the sixth-most overall.
Lara’s recent outings in the Road Safety World Series and Bushfire Relief match displayed that the graceful stroke maker still hasn’t lost his touch, despite hanging his boots in 2007.