Pakistan is the land of fast bowlers. Imran Khan, Wasim Khan, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar have graced the cricketing world with their sheer pace and swinging abilities.
Although Shoaib Akhtar, who is included in the elite list of bowlers, narrated and recalled a story of the bowler who made him ordinary. Akhtar revealed he was blown away by the talent of Mohammad Asif.
Asif debuted in 2005, and in his 5-year long controversial career, he was the 2nd leading Test bowler behind Dale Steyn. His talent even mesmerized Shoaib Akhtar.
Akhtar was full of praise for Asif’s talent and recalled the 2006 India tour to Pakistan.
Akhtar praised Asif’s performance in the final Test, where he took 7 wickets, calling the latter a pure magician. He mentioned, ‘The way Asif trapped the Indian team…I have never seen a magician like him. He made me look like a very ordinary fast bowler’.
Akhtar further elaborated and gave a reason why he felt that way. ‘I remember him bowling in the 2006 Test match against India. He bowled an inswinger to Laxman, and he was bowled. ‘I told him, ‘What a fluke! It does happen once or twice. He replied, ‘I will dismiss him in the same manner in the next innings’. Of course, it did not swing that much in that delivery, but it was the same, it seemed as well, and Laxman was gone”.
Akhtar even compared that performance of Asif to his idol Wasim Akram. Sadly, Asif’s antics off the pitch and love for money shortened what could have been a long glorious career.