'Was Told to Distrub Sachin, Jadeja But..': Basit Ali Reveals Why Pakistan Players Never Sledged Mohammad Azharuddin

Edited By: Amrit Santlani

Last Updated: January 24, 2023, 14:33 IST

Mohammed Azharuddin (AFP Image)

Basit Ali spills the beans on dressing room secrets of the Pakistani side, how they planned to ‘disturb’ Indian players

Former Pakistan batsman Basit Ali has revealed some of the dressing room secrets of his playing days, revealing that during the team meetings, players were asked to disturb Indian players.

Basit stated that he was told to sledge the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Ajay Jadeja and Vinod Kambli among others, but the he also revealed an interesting detail that Pakistani players never sledged Mohammad Azharuddin.

Ali played 19 Tests and 50 ODIs for Pakistan and he spilled some beans on the dressing room secrets of the Pakistani side, revealing why they never sledged Azhar.

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Speaking to the former Indian skipper on his YouTube channel, Basit recalled, “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 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,” he added.

“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,” Ali stated further.

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During the chat, Azhar also recalled the time when he was the captain of the side and a young Sachin came to him and said that he wanted to bat up the order, Tendulkar wanted to open in ODIs.

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“During his first 69 ODIs, Sachin has batted in the middle order and he never used to get that many opportunities down the order. He asked me, and I can’t say no to such a talented player,” said Azhar.

Basit also revealed how the former Indian skipper sacrificed his own place in the team to promote youngsters such as Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

“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,” said the Pakistani veteran.

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