Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar heaps praises on Mohammad Asif for his adaptability. Akhtar believes that had Asif not involved himself in the spot-fixing scandal – for which he was imprisoned for a year and banned for seven years – he could have become even greater than Wasim Akram.
Akhtar says that he has observed batsmen looking for answers to Asif’s deliveries. The right-arm pacer before being banned picked 106 Test wickets in 23 matches. Asif, who was known for his exaggerated swing and lethal seam movement, will remain a potential never fulfilled.
“I think he probably is the smartest fast bowler. Bumrah, Mohammad Amir, and even bigger than Wasim Akram, the guy that I’ve seen bowling is Mohammad Asif. I have actually seen batsmen crying while facing Asif. Laxman once said ‘how will I face this guy’, AB de Villiers literally started crying during the Asian Test Championship,” Shoaib Akhtar told Sports Today.
Jasprit Bumrah is the smartest fast bowler presently: Shoaib Akhtar
The 45-year-old feels that Jasprit Bumrah is a sharp brain, and is the smartest fast bowler in the world currently. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ is impressed by Bumrah as a person and a bowler.
Akhtar opines that Bumrah may not show aggression in his body language and doesn’t involve himself in any altercations; however, the Indian pacer is aggressive in his deliveries. The former speedster points out that while everyone had speculations about the longevity of Jasprit Bumrah owing to his unorthodox action, the pacer has vaulted all the odds and became a legend at a young age.
“But I think after Asif, Bumrah is the smartest fast bowler presently. People were doubtful about his fitness in Test cricket, even I was watching him closely. He has a quick bouncer, is deceptive and sharp and a good character this guy is,” Shoaib Akhtar added.
“Bumrah has aggression in his length, not in his body. This is how I’m going to define Bumrah. There is aggression in the length he bowls, he defeats the batsmen with his length. His body language is not aggressive, he’s the nicest guy I’ve come across. But when he comes to bowl, in those 5 seconds he showcases his aggression in his length,” the former pacer said.
Making his international debut in 2016, in the space of 4 years, the 27-year-old has become the spearhead of the Indian team. Bumrah has snared 76 Test wickets at a supreme average of 20, and 167 wickets in limited-overs cricket for India, along with 109 IPL scalps; Bumrah is regarded as the best all-format bowler in the world currently.