Continuing with his tendency to spark outrage with his controversial comment, Shahid Afridi has now claimed that ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar won’t accept that he was scared of facing ‘Rawalpindi Express’, Shoaib Akhtar.
Also, Afridi explained his controversial statement back in 2011, where he revealed about witnessing Sachin’s legs tremble facing Akhtar, while placed at square-leg.
In Afridi’s words, while fielding in the covers or mid-off, one can identify the nervousness around batsmen, by observing the body language.
“Dekhiye Sachin Tendulkar apne 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,” Afridi told popular Pakistani sports presenter, Zainab Abbas.
“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,” he added.
Interestingly, in the nine Test matches Sachin has played against Pakistan with Shoaib Akhtar in the XI, he has scored 416 runs at an average of 41.60. Akhtar dismissed Sachin thrice in those games.
“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 onto the backfoot,” Afridi justified further.
Moreover, in 19 ODIs played against Pakistan with Akhar in the opposition, Sachin has scored 864 runs, at a strike-rate of 90, averaging a handsome 45.47. Akhtar had the wood over Sachin on occasions in the games.
Back in 2011, in Akhtar’s book ‘Controversially Yours’, he affirmed that Sachin was scared to face him, Even Afridi backed Akhtar’s claim and commented, “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.”