Tendulkar, Dravid not scared of Shoaib Akhtar, says Asim Kamal

Former Pakistan batsman Asim Kamal feels though Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (L) looked nervous at times but were never scared of facing Shoaib Akhtar Getty Images

Lahore: Sep 27, 2011

Pakistan Test batsman Asim Kamal has negated the impression created by former speedster Shoaib Akhtar in his recently released autobiography ‘Controversially Yours’, in which he has questioned the class and temperament of Indian batting stalwarts Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

Shoaib, in his book, has claimed that Tendulkar and Dravid were not match-winners nor did they know the art of finishing games but Asim, who played in the 2004 home series against India and also toured India in 2005, disagreed with the “Rawalpindi Express”.

“I used to field at short leg and yes, it is true I saw some batsmen shivering while facing Shoaib but same was not true in case of Tendulkar or Dravid,” Asim said.

“I saw some South African batsmen in the 2003 series in Pakistan shying away from Shoaib’s bowling. Among them were (Boeta) Dipennaar and (Kevin) McKenzie at Lahore.

“But I fielded at short leg when Tendulkar and Dravid batted. They used to be nervous like other players when facing Shoaib but I didn’t see anything which suggested that either of them were scared of him,” 35-year-old Asif, who played 12 Test matches, said.

The left-handed batsman, who had a successful stint in the two series he played against India, said he has always been a great admirer of the two Indian batsmen and found them to be quality players.

“It is unfair to say they were not match-winners or scared of anyone,” said Asim.

He, however, was also all praise for Shoaib as a teammate and a human being

“I don’t know what he has written in his book but I can say that he was an excellent teammate, who used to support the younger players and a good human being…very gracious with us,” revealed Asim. (PTI)