'I told him 'Rahul, tu ladh bhi sakta hai?'- Shoaib Akhtar recalls his face-off with Rahul Dravid

Shoaib Akhtar revealed he wanted to make a mark in the home series against India in 2004.

 Shoaib Akhtar and Rahul Dravid | Getty Images

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar revealed an unheard incident when former Indian captain Rahul Dravid, who is known for his cool and composed nature, was ready to fight with him on the field.

However, the Rawalpindi Express did not mention which game it was, but according to his description, it could possibly be the fifth ODI between India and Pakistan from the 2004 series.

Akhtar was someone who wore his heart on his sleeve and was fearsome like his bowling when it comes to expressing himself, but he was also surprised to see Dravid getting so aggressive during that match.

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Shoaib Akhtar recalled in a video posted by Star Sports: “It was the first time I saw this gentleman of cricket behave… in that match, he wanted to have a word with me. We ran into each other and we collided. Before that, as I ran into bowl, and before I took my jump, Mohammad Kaif moved away. I did not say anything to him but I was very angry. So, I got him and Yuvraj out.”

He added, “We were close to winning that game, and Rahul Dravid ran into me. I told him you run on your side and I will run on mine. Rahul got flared up. I told him 'Rahul, why are you getting so aggressive? I know the climate is changing but the thing is I can't understand that tu ladh bhi sakta hai (you too can fight).”

The former pacer also recalled India's 2004 tour of Pakistan – their first meeting since the 2003 World Cup, and he wanted to make a mark in the home series. He took nine wickets in five ODIs in that series.

Akhtar signed off by saying, “But it was a one-off thing. Rahul is a gentleman. But coming back to the match, I had bowled really fast in that spell. I made sure that after 2003 WC, I left an impact on the Indian team. It was always in my mind to bowl fast after the 2003 World Cup.”


By Rashmi Nanda - 18 Aug, 2022

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