The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin sight fires up Shoaib

Cape Town, Feb. 8 (PTI): Keen to “test” himself against Sachin Tendulkar, Pakistan’s tearaway fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday rated the master batsman ahead of anyone else and said he loved the challenge of bowling to him.

“My adrenaline gets going when I bowl to Tendulkar,” said Shoaib as he looked ahead to his side’s potentially explosive clash with India at Centurion Park on March 1.

“There are Gilchrists and there are Haydens but Tendulkar is in a different league of his own. I have enormous respect for his ability as a batsman,” he said, bemoaning the fact that he has not had much opportunity to “test” himself against the world’s greatest batsman.

“I have bowled to him only in one Test. Maybe in a couple of one-day Internationals. I have always enjoyed the challenge of bowling to him. “Unless you test yourself against the likes of Tendulkar, and (Brian) Lara, you really can’t judge how you are.”

Shoaib won the first round of his battle against Tendulkar when he knocked off the little master’s middle stump with the very first ball he bowled to him during the Calcutta Test of 1998-99 series.

He said he would love to do something similar in the World Cup. “There is no better place to do it as the entire world is watching,” he said.

Shoaib said, on the few occasions he bowled to Tendulkar, he could see why the little man was rated better than anyone else. “He is definitely a class act and among the top five batsmen I have come across.”

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