Shoaib Akhtar takes pride in playing against batting icon Sachin Tendulkar but the Pakistan paceman does not believe that the champion Indian batsman is 'hardest' to get out.
The speedster from Rawalpindi has joined cricketers from across the world in hailing Tendulkar for eclipsing Brian Lara's world record for Test runs but at the same time Akhtar says that pressure of a million fans, scrutinising his every step, makes him vulnerable.
"Congratulations to Sachin for breaking Brian Lara's Test record. We are all lucky to have seen him play and some of us even more fortunate to have actually played against him," Shoaib said.
"I wouldn't say he is the hardest batsman to get out because when he comes to the wicket, he carries so much expectation of all the passionate Indian people and is under so much pressure to score runs that he may then be nervous early on.
"When he gets in and is seeing the ball well, then it is the bowler who is in trouble because once set he is extremely tough to remove. Then it becomes very difficult and is probably the greatest challenge you can face as a bowler," Shoaib told 'bigstarcricket.Com'.
Shoaib felt the batting maestro still had enough cricket in him and should continue to serve the game for at least two more years.
"Sachin brought charisma and charm into cricket. I cannot say enough of how much of a gentleman he is. We all have to be thankful to him that he is playing this game and making our sport so much the better for his being there. I believe he will carry on scoring Test runs for at least another two years," the controversial pace bowler said.
He also doubted that Tendulkar's record will ever be bettered although he admitted Ricky Pointing had a fair chance as he a bit younger than the Indian.
Shoaib also praised Tendulkar's other qualities, saying "he is the most humble person and greatest example of a gentleman in the game. With all the records he has and the talent, you would never know because he always remains so quiet, modest and humble," he said.