Swashbuckling Virender Sehwag and intimidating Shoaib Akhtar have had several confrontations on and off the cricket field. Both have been seen pulling each-other leg when it comes to showing superiority. But now things seem to have turned around. On June 13, Shoaib Akhtar had the former Indian opener on his YouTube show as a special guest to talk about the ongoing ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. Both discussed upcoming India vs Pakistan clash on Sunday.
Ind vs Pak | Shoaib Akhtar and Sehwag Crack Some Insights on the Upcoming Match | World Cup 2019https://t.co/2rp3aPI5No pic.twitter.com/dggoi3yjFu
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) 14 June 2019
What may come as a surprise to many fans is Akhtar’s disclosure that, despite the public perception, the two men have always been on good terms. The famous ‘baap baap hota hai’ statement by Sehwag and other provocative things the retired Indian opener may have said were, apparently, not as offensive as some may have thought them to be. Shoaib introduced Sehwag by saying, ” People may think we are not friends, but let me say it we are good friends and Sehwag is a nice-hearted human being.”
On India vs Pakistan contest, Shoaib asked Sehwag, “Which team are you backing in the next match after considering everything from toss to playing conditions etc.?”
Sehwag replied: “I don’t believe that Pakistan will be able to beat India on the 16th in any way whatsoever.” In this very pleasant conversation, the two players discussed a variety of issues ranging from the weather to the upcoming India-Pakistan game. Sehwag said,” Pakistan bowling attack has always been the talking point and in this world cup, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir are the two key inclusions to the squad. But at the same time, Hasan Ali has not been able to able to click so far. That would be a big concern for Pakistan against India.”
Akhtar also chipped in with a very unique statement wherein he took the credit, somewhat, for both Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz being brought back into the team after being ignored for the original 15-man squad. He attributed Amir’s success to his advice of bowling a little faster. .
Interestingly, Sehwag also refused to count India as the biggest favourite among all the teams to lift the trophy. According to the man with two triple centuries in Tests, England and Australia are the two biggest favourites in the tournament and when push comes to shove, they may well be the teams which bring their A-game to the table. Sehwag believes that Australia have the instinct and skills to perform at their best in the crucial matches like the semis and finals.
Well, whatever happens in the World Cup, it was interesting to see the two men, often engaged in heated contests on the field, have this rather bromantic meeting off it.