Ever boastful, the bad boy of Pakistan cricket speedster Shoaib Akhtar has made some truly tall claims in an autobiography released on Friday, questioning the abilities of two of the greatest batsmen in the game's history, India's Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
The two Indians have between them scored over 56,000 runs in Tests and ODIs, but Akhtar says in the book Controversially Yours that they do not know "the art of finishing the game".
Pakistan's enfant terrible, who claimed to have bowled the fastest ball ever of 161.3 kmph, chose to release the book here obviously with an eye on the lucrative Indian market. Characteristically, he makes tall claims in the book.
"....Vivian Richards, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara and the likes of them are great batsmen who dominated with the bat and were truly match-winners. Initially, when I bowled against Sachin, I found these qualities missing. He might have had more runs and records, he lacked the ability to finish the game," he said in the book.
Akhtar, who retired from international cricket during the World Cup this year, referred to India's tour of Pakistan in 2006 and said that his team could have faced a humbling defeat but for the fact that they managed to rein in Tendulkar.
"What went in our favour was that Sachin was suffering from tennis elbow! This severely handicapped the great batsman. We managed to psychologically browbeat him.
"We bounced the ball at him and were able to unnerve him. I returned to the dressing room that first day with the knowledge that Sachin was not comfortable facing fast and rising ball. He was distinctly uncomfortable against me. That was enough to build on," he said.