Shoaib Akhtar was unquestionably one of the terrified pacemen during his playing days. The thundering pace at which he bowls combined with the swing had most batsmen encapsulated with fear. Akhtar was always in close competition with Brett Lee, having bowled a delivery that clocked 161.3 km/h. But there was one batsman, who handled Shoaib Akhtar’s blazing-fast deliveries expertly. And it turns out that he was the speedster’s teammate.
It was the former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq that had the Rawalpindi Express scratching his head. Aside from his terrible running between the wickets, it is hard to argue with the fact that Inzamam-Ul-Haq was one of the best batsmen produced by Pakistan. He made his name in the international cricket by playing significant knocks in the 1992 World Cup semi-final and final. By the time the 50-year old retired in 2007, he had over 8000 Test runs, and 11000 ODI runs under his belt.
On ESPN Cricinfo Videocast, the 44-year old named his former skipper as the one he couldn’t bowl out. Even as Shoaib Akhtar admitted that his action is complicated, unlike Brett Lee, he couldn’t claim Inzamam’s wicket in a decade. The former speedster reckons that Inzamam-Ul-Haq could read his ball a second earlier than the most.
“To be honest, it’s Inzamam-ul-Haq. See my action is very complicated unlike Bret Lee’s but I could not bowl him out even once in the nets in 10 years. I think he could read the ball a second faster than others.”
Shoaib Akhtar names an Indian batsman who played him with ease:
The Rawalpindi Express had some of the exciting on-field battles with India’s former whirlwind opening batsman Virender Sehwag. Akhtar claimed that he always banged it short to him initially and instead should have bowled a delivery that went away from him. It was after the 44-year old figured him that Sehwag’s run-scoring against him was controlled.
“I bowled him short initially when I should have bowled the ball that’s going away from him. After I figured him, he could not score much against me. I bowled him out on multiple occasions, including at the IPL and in Lahore in.”