‘Wasim Akram made the ball talk,’ Tendulkar showers praise on Pak great

‘Wasim Akram made the ball talk,’ Tendulkar showers praise on Pak great

Sachin Tendulkar, regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game, in his 24-year-long international career faced a number of bowling greats of his time. One of them was former Pakistan captain and famous left-arm speedster Wasim Akram.

Akram and Tendulkar though were fierce rivals throughout the nineties, they also held each other in high respect. Unsurprisingly, Tendulkar has made a special contribution to Wasim Akram’s autobiography, Sultan: A Memoir.  In it, Tendulkar has paid a tribute to the legendary pace bowling great.

Also read: Akram rates this cricketer alongside Kohli, Warner and Root

Wonderful rivalry

“Cricket is a team sport, but everything goes back to the rivalry of batter and bowler, and in Wasim Akram every batter had a wonderful rival — when you play against someone of that calibre, it lifts your game as well, and the experience stays with you forever. Wasim was a master. He made the ball talk,” Tendulkar wrote in Akram’s book.

“His run-up was so natural. Unlike most fast bowlers, he didn’t need to measure his steps; he could just start from anywhere and still be as effective. He ran through the crease so quickly you hardly had time to set yourself up. When I first faced him, I’d never encountered anyone like Wasim. Every game we played against each other I remember. And every time we meet now, it is in warm friendship,” wrote the Indian great.

Cricket greats

Akram holds the record for most wickets by a fast bowler in ODIs and was also the first in the history of the format to breach the 500-wicket mark. He ended his ODI career with 502 wickets in 356 matches. In Tests, the former left-arm pacer ended a stellar career with 414 wickets to his name in 106 games.

Also read: ‘Tendulkar sane, Sehwag insane’: Ganguly opens up on his cricket career

Tendulkar holds the record for most runs in ODIs and Tests, as well as most international centuries (100) in the history of the game.

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