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My Goodness, the Speed That Akhtar Bowled in That Series: Pietersen Recalls Horrors of 2005 Series

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen recalls how a sledge by Andrew Flintoff during the ICC Super Series in 2005, fired up Shoaib Akhtar, and how it eventually led to England's downfall in the series against Pakistan later that year.

Cricketnext Staff |May 22, 2020, 5:35 PM IST
My Goodness, the Speed That Akhtar Bowled in That Series: Pietersen Recalls Horrors of 2005 Series

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen recalls how a sledge by Andrew Flintoff during the ICC Super Series in 2005, fired up Shoaib Akhtar, and how it eventually led to England's downfall in the series against Pakistan later that year.

Talking with Pommie Mbangwa on Instagram, Pietersen revealed how pumped up Akhtar was during the series.

“[My] first proper tour abroad was Pakistan, straight after the 2005 Ashes,” Pietersen said.

“That was frightening, the speed Shoaib Akhtar bowled in that series, my goodness. We played the World Series [Super Series] in Australia a couple of weeks before that, and I remember sitting at MCG – we were the World XI and we had everyone: [Brian] Lara, [Muttiah] Muralitharan, [Andrew] Flintoff, [Graeme] Smith, [Jacques] Kallis. I was sitting there going, ‘Oh my goodness, should I be sitting here, let alone be playing in this team?'”

Pietersen saw Flintoff take on his teammate during a practice session, calling Akhtar a Tarzan.

“I remember it was quite funny – Shoaib was struggling with his knee, and he wasn’t bowling as quick. And Freddie turned to him and said, ‘Shoaib, it’s no use looking like Tarzan and bowling like Jane, buddy’. And you could see Shoaib took this to heart.”

Come the Test series, Akhtar managed to pick up 17 wickets in three Tests, as England lost the series 2-0.

“My goodness, the speed that Shoaib Akhtar bowled in that series. Oh my word, crazy. He was bowling faster at 5 o’clock in the afternoon than what he was bowling in the morning!”

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3466 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 4820 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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