Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has claimed Imran Nazir was more talented batsman than former India opener Virender Sehwag. Sehwag, who was known for his swashbuckling style of batting and is regarded as one of the finest openers to have played for India. Sehwag helped India claim several laurels at the highest level including two World Cup triumphs in World T20 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011.
The explosive right-hander used to be a nightmare for the opposition bowlers across formats and possessed the ability to single-handedly torment bowling attacks. However, Akhtar, who is known for making bold claims, claimed Sehwag, who notched up 17,253 runs in international cricket was behind Nazir in terms of talent. Nazir, who made his debut for Pakistan in 1999, was touted to become a world-beater by several experts and former cricketers.
However, he failed to live up to the expectations. Nazir managed to play 8 Tests, 79 ODIs and 25 T20Is for Pakistan, amassing 427, 1895 and 500 runs in the three formats respectively. Akhtar claimed Nazir could have become a better player for Pakistan than Sehwag but the team management didn’t utilise his talent well.
“I don’t think Imran Nazir had the brain that Sehwag had. I don’t think Sehwag had the talent that Imran Nazir had. There is no comparison with regards to talent. We tried to contain him a little. When he hit a brutal hundred against India in a match, I asked them to play Imran Nazir consistently but they didn’t listen,” Akhtar was quoted as saying on a TV show by Cricket Pakistan.