Every cricket lover remembers Virender Sehwag as the fearless batsman who could hit a six even in the most risky situation.
The Nawab of Najafgarh was the first Indian to score a triple century in Test cricket and changed the approach of openers in this format with his blistering batting.
However, Pakistan legend Wasim Akram thinks it was not Sehwag who “changed the mindset of opening in Test cricket”.
According to Akram, Sehwag came later and it was Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi, who revolutionised the way the innings was opened.
While chatting on a YouTube talk show 'Sawaal Cricket Ka with Wasim Akram' with Afridi, the former captain said that in 1999-2000 Afridi was the one who had the ability of destructive batting in Test cricket as well.
“Even if I was the bowler, I would know that I can get him out but also knew that he can hit me for boundaries,” Akram said adding that Afridi used to “hit lose deliveries for sixes at will”.
After having debuted in Test cricket in 1998, Afridi came to India to play in 1999-2000. The all-rounder scored his maiden Test century against India in Chennai and his batting helped Pakistan clinch the series by 2-1.
Akram revealed in the show that Afridi was not in favour of being selected for this tour. Akram recalled having called Imran Khan for advice and ended up taking Afridi in the team.
Khan had also asked Akram to make Afridi open the batting order.
Speaking of Afridi’s 141-run knock in Chennai, Akram said, “Afridi used to dance down the track and hit Kumble and Joshi for sixes”.
Although he might have started his Test career on a high, Afridi failed to extend it. He played only 27 Test matches for his country, but features in 398 One Day international matches.
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