Former India opener Virender Sehwag has claimed that Pakistan quick Shoaib Akhtar used to “jerk his elbow” while bowling at international level, and was aware of the fact himself.
Speaking on Sports18’s show Home of Heroes, Sehwag told host Sanjay Manjrekar that he could never guess “where the hand and ball will come from” while facing Akhtar.
“Shoaib knows he used to jerk his elbow; he knew he was chucking too,” Sehwag was quoted as saying. “Why would ICC ban him otherwise? 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.”
Early in his international career, Shoaib Akhtar was reported for a suspect action once in 1999 and twice in 2001. In December 1999, ICC’s advisory panel on illegal deliveries imposed a suspension on Shoaib Akhtar, but the ban was overturned soon after.
Sehwag also named Shane Bond as the toughest bowler he faced, adding that Lee and Shoaib were the other quickest he came up against.
“His [Bond’s] deliveries would come swinging into your body, even if he bowled outside off stump.”
“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.