Former Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar has bowled to the better of the batsmen in worldwide cricket together with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Steve Waugh and Virender Sehwag. The one-time quickest bowler in the world, rattled the better of the batsmen but there was one unlikely batsman, who Akhtar discovered ‘toughest’. The speedster revealed that former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as one in all the toughest batsmen he bowled to in his profession.
Akhtar holds the file of bowling the quickest supply in worldwide cricket, 161.3 kmph towards England in 2003. The Pakistan paceman turned out in 46 Tests and 163 ODIs in his worldwide profession and picked up 178 and 247 wickets respectively.
Akhtar’s statement came as a shocker as Muralitharan hasn’t done much with the bat in his career. However, the former Pakistan pacer discovered him exhausting to sort out and he defined the motive by recalling an attention-grabbing anecdote.
“Muttiah Muralitharan is the toughest batsman I have bowled to. I am not even kidding. He requested me not to kill him and told me that he will die if I hit him with a bouncer. He said, ‘Please pitch the ball up and I will give you the wicket away. Whenever I pitched the ball up he just used to slash hard and used to tell me that he hit it by mistake,” Akhtar instructed Sportskeeda web site.
Muralitharan, the highest wicket-taker in worldwide cricket, had scored 1,261 runs and 674 runs in 133 Tests and 350 ODI matches respectively. These numbers aren’t nice by any requirements.
Akhtar bid farewell to worldwide cricket after the 2011 World Cup but it didn’t limit him from hogging the headlines even after retirement.