IRahul Dravid was a tough batsman to dismiss for all bowlers and now Shoaib Akhtar has come on record to say that the former India ace would play him easily.
Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar recently revealed how he and his teammate Shahid Afridi had once wanted to dismiss Rahul Dravid early so that they could enjoy their Friday night plans later in the day.
Akhtar was speaking to former India batsman Aakash Chopra, when he recalled the incident from the 1999 Pepsi Cup encounter between India and Pakistan. India had lost early wickets, and, in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar who was not playing the game, Rahul Dravid was India’s best bet. Afridi asked Akhtar to dismiss Dravid quickly to avoid a long innings.
Akhtar recalled how he almost trapped Rahul Dravid leg before wicket, but the decision went in favour of the batsman. Rahul Dravid scored 25 runs off 37 balls as India lost the game by 123 runs.
"If a batsman used to play, like Rahul Dravid, we would bowl him length balls. From close to the stump we would aim the gap between bat and pad, try hit the ball on the pad. There was a final match in Bangalore, I had dismissed Sadagoppan Ramesh early, we took 3-4 wickets early. Sachin Tendulkar was not playing," Akhtar told Chopra.
"Shahid Afridi and I said Rahul Dravid will take a lot of time and its Friday night today. Afridi said bowl something and take his wicket else he will play for long. I hit him directly on the pad and urged umpire to raise his fingers. I even said it's our Friday night. He did not give the decision in our favour but we had won in the end. Dravid was difficult and a determined batsman. It was difficult for me as well as him. He would play against me easily," he added.
Rahul Dravid scored 24,177 international runs
While Akhtar played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20Is for Pakistan, Rahul Dravid played 164 Tests, 344 ODIs and a solitary T20I for India, scoring 24,177 runs combined.