There are many pacers who can bowl fast, but bowlers who can scare batsmen are rare and Pakistan veteran Shoaib Akhtar is one among the few. The speedster was one of the finest bowlers to have graced the cricket field and his records speak the volume of his capabilities. The legendary seamer has bowled to some of the greats of the game, including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting among others.
Recently, Akhtar revealed the toughest batsman he has ever bowled to. The right-arm fast bowler named Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan as a batsman who gave him a hard time. While the name might surprise you, it is understandable that the pacer named Murali in a sarcastic way.
“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 told Sportskeeda.
Muralitharan himself is one of the greats of the game. The Sri Lanka veteran is the highest wicket-taker in international cricket with over 1000 scalps. Murali is the only bowler to take 800 wickets in Tests while he has 534 wickets to his name in ODIs.
Speaking about Shoaib Akhtar, he has accounted for 444 international wickets in his career. Akhtar formed a lethal attack with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in the early 2000s and led Pakistan to numerous wins. Despite struggling with a knee injury, Akhtar served Pakistan for over a decade before he bid adieu to international cricket in 2011. However, the pacer is very active on social media and owns a YouTube channel. He is often in the news for making bold predictions.