India batting great Virender Sehwag has called out former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s action. Known as the Rawalpindi Express, Akhtar is still the fastest bowler in the world. (More Cricket News)
"Shoaib knows he used to jerk his elbow; he knew he was chucking too. Why would ICC ban him otherwise?” Sehwag told Sports18.
In 1999, Shoaib Akhtar was banned for 'throwing' for a month and returned with remodelled bowling action. Then the right-arm pacer had said that he was totally shocked... They won't give me a definite word as to what is wrong with me. They've just told me to remodel my action."
In 2001, he was banned for illegal bowling action for a second time.
Comparing Shoiab Akhtar's action to his contemporary fast bowlers like Brett Lee of Australia and Shane Bond of New Zealand, Sehwag said that it was tough to pick the ball from the Pakistani bowler.
"Brett Lee's hand came down straight, so it was easy to pick the ball. But with Shoaib, you could never guess where the hand and the ball will come from," Sehwag explained.
The former India national cricket team opener had enjoyed facing Shoaib Akhtar and Pakistan. The right-handed batter averaged over 90 in Test against Pakistan, with a century, two double tons and a triple.
"I never feared facing Brett Lee, but with Shoaib, I could not trust what he would do if I hit him twice to the fence. Maybe a beamer or a toe-crushing yorker,” Sehwag added.
His 1276 runs in nine matches against Pakistan have come at an average of 91.14 with a strike rate of 80.20. His career (8586 runs in 104 matches) average is 49.34 with a strike rate of 82.21.
Sehwag, 43, also revealed the name of the toughest fast bowler he had faced. And it's Shane Bond.
"His deliveries would come swinging into your body, even if he bowled outside off stump," Sehwag said, while adding that Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar were the other two who were quickest he faced.
While Akhtar retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup, Sehwag hung up his boots in 2015.