Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar in his autobiography ‘Controversially Yours has accused Sachin Tendulkar of being scared to face his bowling on a slow Faisalabad track.
“We would have faced a humbling defeat in the series but for the fact that we reined in Sachin Tendulkar.
“What went in our favour was that Sachin was suffering from tennis elbow! This severely handicapped the great batsman. We managed to psychologically browbeat him.
“We bounced the ball at him and were able to unnerve him. I returned to the dressing room that first day with the knowledge that Sachin was not comfortable facing fast and rising ball. He was distinctly uncomfortable against me. That was enough to build on”, he said.
“I bowled (Sachin) a particularly fast ball which he, to my amazement didn’t even touch. He walked away! That was the first time, I saw him walk away from me — that, too, on the slow track at Faisalabad. It got my hunting instincts up and in the next match I hit him on the head and he couldn’t score after that”, Akhtar wrote.
He also said that Tendulkar and Dravid were not match-winners.
“I think players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid weren’t exactly match winners to start with, nor did they know the art of finishing the game.”
“….Vivian Richards, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and the likes of them are great batsmen who dominated with the bat and were truly match-winners. Initially, when I bowled against Sachin, I found these qualities missing. He might have had more runs and records, he lacked the ability to finish the game,” Akhtar said in the book.