Sehwag and Akhtar engaged in banter before the India vs Pakistan match Image: AFP
Before the India-Pakistan rivalry reprised in the form of the ICC Champions Trophy clash today, old stakeholders of the epic contest- Virender Sehwag and Shoaib Akhtar- engaged in a war of words in the run-up to the contest.
The two were panellists at an ABP News show and the two engaged in some serious hard-hitting banter during the show.
Typical of his playing style, Sehwag didn't hold back any punches and delivered the bottom line in typical Viru Pa style. ”Itne to tarbuzz (watermelon) mein beej (seads) nhi hote, utne India-Pakistan match mein Pakistan ko problem hoti hai. Ye kalyug nhi..Kohliyug hai.. Pakistan ek baigun (Brinjal) ki tarah hai aur India iss baar bharta banaega (A watermelon doesn't have as many seeds as the number of problems Pakistan face while taking India on. This is not kalyug but 'Kohliyug'. Pakistan is like a brinjal and India will make 'bharta' of them this time on)," said Sehwag concluding his statement.
Shoaib and Viru are good friends off the field but the rivalry always brought the best and worst out of them.
“India will celebrate if they beat Pakistan on June 4. I believe Pakistan fans won’t break their Television sets this time. Pakistan fans should switch to radios as they are cheaper," said Sehwag referring to the multiple videos of Pakistani fans breaking their tv sets which emerged after the last time India beat Pakistan in the ICC WT20 2016 match at the Eden Gradens.
Responding to Sehwag’s comments, Shoaib said, "Pakistan has old Chinese television sets, which apparently don’t work properly. Hence they break them."
Shoaib also brought up the issue of the two nations not playing bilateral series due to political tension and said, “India and Pakistan should play at least two bilateral series every year. This will benefit India and then Pakistan. But BCCI’s hands are tied.”
However, Sehwag insisted that there is no need for India to play against Pakistan. “Instead Pakistan faces the urge to play cricket with India, so that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) can make some profit from it and take care off their players,” Sehwag responded to the former Pakistani pacer's suggestion.