A 24-year-old Dhoni, who was only three matches into his Test career, was part of India’s squad for their tour to Pakistan in 2006. Though he didn’t get a chance to bat in the first Test at Lahore, he brought out his best in the second encounter at Faislabad, scoring his first Test century.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 18, 2019
It was during his 148-run knock that Akhtar, who was leading the Pakistan attack, purposely bowled a beamer at him, and apologised right after. The Pakistan pacer, who was bowling with a broken fibula and went for 100 runs in his 25-over spell, revealed that he got frustrated, as Dhoni was replying to his fast bowling with “equal ferocity”.
“My knees had become useless by 1997,” Akhtar said. “I still kept fighting and continued playing, and had to take injections regularly. I remember when India had come to Pakistan, the fibula of my landing leg was broken. MS Dhoni had scored a century at Faisalabad.
“I think I had bowled a spell of eight-nine overs in Faisalabad. I was bowling pretty quick and Dhoni scored a hundred. I purposely bowled a beamer at him and then apologised.
Is Shoaib Akhtar the fastest bowler you’ve ever seen?pic.twitter.com/mpjl2mqnre
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 15, 2020
“That was the first time in my life that I had bowled a beamer purposely. I shouldn’t have done it. I regret it a lot. He was playing very well and the wickets were slow. And no matter how fast I bowled, he kept on hitting me with equal ferocity. I think I got frustrated.”
Akhtar played five more Tests before bidding adieu to the longer format of the sport in 2007 with 178 wickets in 46 matches.