Pakistan star Shoaib Akhtar has responded to Virender Sehwag's bold statement questioning the former pacer's bowling action.
Sehwag, who sticks to his no-holds-barred approach when it comes to expressing his views on any topic, claimed the speedster 'used to jerk his elbow' and 'knew he was chucking too'.
Sehwag compared Shoaib to Brett Lee, saying he was able to read the Australian because his 'hand came down straight.' The former India opener, however, was not able to read Akhtar's delivery as he 'could never guess where the hand and ball would come from'.
In response to Sehwag's big statement, Akhtar asked the Indian to refrain from passing such comments when social media is on the rise. Akhtar, who kept the speed guns busy during his playing days, also underlined the political tensions between India and Pakistan, adding he doesn't want to put forth any remark which would undermine the relationship even further.
"I would request Sehwag to not pass such comments. If Sehwag knows more than ICC, he is entitled to his opinion. My statement to Sehwag will be a bit different. I feel he was one of the greatest match-winners India has ever produced. He was a team man and among the greatest openers to have ever played for India. At the moment, I am at that stage and age where I'm careful while dishing out my opinions. I don't want to pass a comment or insult any player who has played on the national level," Akhtar told Sportskeeda.
"I haven't seen the interview. Sehwag is a close friend but I don't know if he has commented jokingly or if he is being serious."
"Cricketers should make sure their statements don't disturb the harmony between India and Pakistan. If there's a scope for improvement in relations between the two countries, I should be able to play that bridge. I request Sehwag to be mindful while making such statements in the age of social media," Akhtar further added.
While Sehwag questioned Akhtar's bowling action, he praised the fast bowler and pointed out his unpredictability.
"Shoaib knows he used to jerk his elbow; he knew he was chucking too. Why would ICC ban him otherwise?" Sehwag said on the third episode of 'Home of Heroes' on Sports 18. "Brett Lee's hand came down straight, so it was easy to pick the ball. But with Shoaib, you could never guess where the hand and the ball will come from."
"I never feared facing Brett Lee, but with Shoaib, I could not trust what he would do if I hit him twice to the fence. Maybe a beamer or a toe-crushing yorker," added Sehwag.