The Rawalpindi Express had made 19 batsmen retired hurt by striking them with his fierce pace with the ball. The Pakistan pacer shared a photo post on the social networking site, asking his fans about the one player who he longed to injure but couldn’t do so. “It was Matthew Hayden (who) I wanted to hit badly during my playing days & I did that many times … now we r best mates,” he tweeted.
Both Akhtar and Hayden were face-to-face in five Tests in which the former won the battle on three occasions, all in 2004 when Australia hosted Pakistan for a Test series. At last, the successful Aussie opening pair of Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden made a strategy against Akhtar after which they started to get the better off him.
Other Australian batsman like former skipper Ricky Ponting and Darren Lehmann were also reluctant when starting off their innings against the mighty pace attack of green shirts. The Rawalpindi Express got the wicket of these batsmen several times in his career.
He played 10 Test matches against Australia in which he picked 31 wickets with an average of 35.7 along with three five-wicket hauls.