File image of Mohammad Azharuddin with Sachin Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja© AFP
Former Pakistan batter Basit Ali recalled the sledging tactics that Pakistan adopted during his playing days and said that none of his teammates ever sledged the former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin. In a recent interaction, Basit revealed that he was told to sledge players like Sachin Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja to upset their rhythm but when it comes to Azhar, all of them had immense respect for them and as a result, none of his seniors in the team ever asked him to sledge the former India skipper.
“Before every India match, I was given the responsibility to sledge the Indian players. I was told to disturb Sachin (Tendulkar), Jadeja (Ajay), Sidhu (Navjot), Kambli (Vinod), but the moment Azhar bhai’s name used to come, the entire team unanimously said no one would disturb Azhar bhai. I don’t have words to describe the amount of respect we used to have for Azhar bhai in our dressing room,” Basit said in a video released on his YouTube channel that also featured Mohammad Azharuddin.
“Be it Wasim (Akram) bhai, Salim Malik, Rashid Latif, Inzmam-Ul-Haq and Waqar Younis, they would no dare to sledge Azhar bhai. I don’t think any Pakistan player ever insulted Azhar bhai,” he added.
Azhar was the captain of the Indian cricket team when talents like Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid grabbed the headlines and Basit said that the former skipper sacrificed his batting spot to promote the youngsters who later went on to become legends of the sport.
“Azhar bhai used to bat at No 3 and when the likes of Ganguly and Dravid came up, he started batting low down the order and gave the youngsters his slot,” Basit said during the video.
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