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'Shoaib Akhtar was the fastest I have faced'

By Rediff Cricket
May 25, 2021 13:22 IST
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IMAGE: Shoaib Akhtar, right, hugs Sachin Tendulkar as another legendary speedster Glenn McGrath, centre, is much amused by the affection between the old adversaries. Photograph: SNAPS INDIA
 

Who was the best bowler and batsman Michael Clarke had seen in his career?

Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Shoaib Akhtar regularly touched speeds of over 150 kmph and were talked about as the fastest. But who was the fastest among the three?

'Shoaib Akhtar was the fastest I have faced,' 'Pup' declared.

'He could bowl 160 (kmph). Different type of bowler who could bowl quick for three overs. (Andrew) Flintoff was quick for 12 overs. (Brett) Lee was quick. Shoaib was quicker,' 'Pup' said on the Uncensored Podcast.

'Shaun Tait, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie were fast. But Shoaib Akhtar was the fastest.'

Clarke picked Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman he had seen.

Sachin -- who hit a blistering, unforgettable six over long off Shoaib's bowling in the 2003 World Cup game against Pakistan -- revealed recently about how the Pakistani quickie once broke one of his ribs, forcing him to recuperate for a couple of months.

Clarke also hailed Shane Warne's mental fortitude as the legendary leg-spinner's greatest strength.

'He would always leave things happening off the field off the field. Generally, Warnie would have a smoke as he was walking onto the ground. When he finished his smoke, he knew that it was game time,' 'Pup' recalled.

'I think that was his greatest strength, how mentally strong he was to still be able to perform when he had so much media pressure off the field with his life.'

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