Who doesn’t remember Sachin Tendulkar using Shoaib Akhtar’s pace and cutting him for a six over the third man in the 2003 World Cup. It’s part of folklore and makes every Indian cricket lover happy and proud. However, a few summers before that, on a hot afternoon in Eden Gardens, Kolkata, Akhtar, also known as the ‘Rawalpindi Express’, became a household name, when he got Tendulkar for a golden duck, uprooting his middle stump off the ground courtesy a lethal and fast in-swinging yorker. Needless to say, the 1 lakh-odd present at the Eden Gardens suddenly seemed to have lost their voices in a fleeting second.
Shoaib Akhtar and Tendulkar have had some memorable duels on the field. It was one of the most anticipated rivalries on a cricket field in the late 1990s and early 2000s. On Tuesday, the legendary pacer tweeted about one of his “favourite rivalries on the ground” and wished Tendulkar, who has tested positive for COVID-19, a speedy recovery.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) March 30, 2021
Within a day, the tweet garnered over 11,600 likes. There were a few hilarious reactions as well, with many Indian cricket fans mocking the word “rivalry”. While some felt he was just another bowler and “nothing more”, others said that Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were Tendulkar’s rivals, not Shoaib Akhtar.
Shoaib bhai, U were just fast and never considered you as his rivalry.
He had played and smashed more legendary bowlers like Ambrose , McGrath, Wasim , Waqar, Vaas, Donald , Steyn Caddick Lee and many more .
U were just another bowler nothing more..
— Apit (@tweet2api) March 31, 2021
to be honest ..sachin ki rivalary app se nahi akram or yunus se banti thi..
— mohsin (@kharasach000) March 30, 2021
There were some, who didn’t want to comment on any kind of rivalry, but instead focused on putting aside “hatred” and appreciating the fact that the former Pakistan pacer sent Tendulkar “a recovery message”.
Put the hatred on side guys and appreciate that he wished him a recovery message. Being nice is not too hard.
— Sagar Khurmi (@khurmi_sagar) March 31, 2021
Another user got nostalgic and tweeted that watching old matches of “Shoaib vs Sachin” was a visual delight.
We still keep watching old matches of Shoaib vs Sachin. It’s a feast to eyes
— Vishal Ghate (@vghate) March 31, 2021
Amid rising COVID-19 cases in India, a few days ago Tendulkar put up a message on Twitter, stating that he was recovering at home with ‘mild symptoms’ of the virus.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 27, 2021
Tendulkar recently captained the India Legends team that won the Road Safety World Series title.
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