Dhaka, Feb 14: Veteran Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is licking his lips at the prospect of having a go at Sachin Tendulkar this World Cup despite the possibility of the Indian batsman clobbering him.
Akhtar missed the 2007 World Cup due to a doping ban and when the two teams met in the 2003 edition in South Africa, Tendulkar dominated Akhtar in an innings some rate among his finest in ODI cricket. However, Akhtar eventually got Tendulkar out for 98 off 75 balls.
"We all know he is a great player. Every bowler gets hit. Even Brett Lee gets hit a long way, so I am not worried about being hit for sixes by Tendulkar. I have got him off the first ball too," Akhtar told reporters.
"Not only Sachin, we will try to get other key players early because they can single-handedly win matches. Put them under pressure, and get them out early - that's what I will like to do," he added.
Akhtar also said that the bans on two of his bowling partners would not affect the national team, and predicted that they still have enough variety to succeed in the World Cup.
Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned for at least five years along with former captain Salman Butt earlier this month after they were found guilty of "spot-fixing" charges by an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal in Doha.
"Obviously, we are unfortunate that they are not there. But still whatever the pace attack we have is good enough to win matches," Stuff.co.nz quoted Shoaib, as saying.
The 35-year-old further said that he along with Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan can still restrict any side in the world.
"We have the best combination for the new ball and reverse with the older. I think we can manage to put it right," Shoaib said.