India and Pakistan haven’t played any bilateral series since 2013 due to political turmoil. Currently, the Asian giants only lock horns in ICC tournaments and the Asia Cup, conducted by the ACC. But there was a time when the teams used to play a number of series. And quite expectantly, sledging between players took place, one of which was probably between Virender Sehwag and Shoaib Akhtar.
A long time ago, Sehwag, while speaking to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, said that he once got under Akhtar’s skin during an India-Pakistan Test match. The Nawab of Najafgarh claimed that the tactic worked as Sachin Tendulkar hooked the speedster for a six.
“I was batting around 200. Shoaib was probably tired after bowling for so long. He came around the wicket and started to bowl plenty of bouncers and taunted me to hit a hook shot. Realising he will continue to do the same thing, I asked him to bowl a bouncer at Sachin Tendulkar, who was at non-striker’s end. In the next over when he bowled a bouncer to Sachin, he hooked it for a six,” Sehwag had said.
He said no, he backtracked from his remarks: Shoaib Akhtar
Getting to know about this, the Rawalpindi Express decided to confront Sehwag during the 2011 edition of the World Cup. But Akhtar said that Sehwag clearly disagreed that he had said such things about him in the past. Shoaib didn’t mind giving the former Indian batsman a heads-up.
“Do you think I would let someone go if he says anything like that to me? We were sitting in Bangladesh during the 2011 World Cup. Gautam Gambhir was also there, go and ask him too. I held Sehwag and asked him, ‘did you say something like this on TV?’ He said no, he backtracked from his remarks,” Akhtar said on the Helo App.
“Gautam Gambhir was sitting alongside him. I told Sehwag ‘If I come to know that you have said something like this then I won’t spare you. You know I can be bitter at times’,” he added.
In his international career, Akhtar dismissed Sehwag five times. He even got rid of the batsman while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL way back in 2008. It was in the match against the Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals, at the Eden Gardens where Shoaib got the Player of the Match award.