'I said this is a God? Iss ki khairiyat nahi' - Shoaib Akhtar recalls facing Sachin Tendulkar for the first time

‘I said this is a God? Iss ki khairiyat nahi’ – Shoaib Akhtar recalls facing Sachin Tendulkar for the first time

Sachin averaged 45.5 in ODIs against Pakistan in 19 matches involving Akhtar and 41.60 in 9 Tests involving the former pacer.

Shoaib Akhtar & Sachin Tendulkar
Shoaib Akhtar & Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Pakistan Cricketer turned commentator Shoaib Akhtar is one of the quickest speedsters of all time. He was a perfect amalgamation of raw pace, lethal bouncers and nightmares. Akhtar had given many legends of the previous generation be it Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara or Sachin Tendulkar a taste of his medicine.

When Akhtar made his international debut for Pakistan in 1997, Sachin was already a big name of the game. Sachin is widely regarded as the ‘God of cricket’ by millions of fans across the world. Recently, the speedster recalled facing the Master Blaster for the first time on the match field. Akhtar had bowled against Sachin for the first time in a Test match against India in Kolkata in 1999 which was his maiden appearance against the arch-rivals.

 I wanted to get him out on the first ball: Shoaib Akhtar

While facing Tendulkar for the first time gave chills to many bowlers, Akhtar remembered that he was in his own attitude and was confident that he would be able to take the wicket of the greatest batsmen of all-time. Speaking about his first reaction while facing Sachin, Akhtar said “Iss ki khairiyat nahi (he won’t get spared)”

“I heard Sachin was the god. I said this is a god? Iss ki khairiyat nahi. He didn’t recognize me, and I didn’t recognize him. He was in his own attitude and I was in my attitude. But I wanted to get him out on the first ball and that happened,” Akhtar told Pakistani news channel ARY News in an interview on Saturday.

Shoaib gave a display of his brilliant bowling skills against his maiden Test against India. Not only he had clean bowled the Mumbai stalwart on the very first delivery, but he had also scalped the wickets of stars like VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Venkatesh Prasad. Akhtar finished the first innings against India with an impressive stat of 4/71 while he also picked a four-wicket haul in the second innings owing to which Pakistan won that iconic match by 46 runs.

Though the Rawalpindi Express had beaten Tendulkar in his maiden Test against India, it was Sachin who later dominated the Pakistan speedster. In his overall career, Akhtar could manage to dismiss the Master Blaster only five times in ODIs and just three times in Tests. Also, Sachin averaged 45.5 in ODIs against Pakistan in 19 matches involving Akhtar and 41.60 in 9 Tests involving the former pacer.