Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has admitted that had Australia batsman Steve Smith been playing during his time, he would have tried to “hurt him” by hitting him in the face three or four times.
Akhtar’s comments come after Smith struck an unbeaten 80 in the second Twenty20 International against Pakistan to lead his side to a seven-wicket win.
The 44-year-old also conceded that he is surprised at Smith’s ability to score runs on a consistent basis, even though he “has no technique or style”.
Of course, Akhtar was just joking and wished Smith the “best of luck”.
“I am surprised how he does it. He has no technique or style but has bravery. So he is very effective. He reaches the pitch of the ball and was severe on Mohammad Amir,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Gulf News.
“I do not know how he does it. If he was playing in my time, I would have definitely hit him (3 or 4 on his face). I would have tried to hurt him. But it’s impossible to hurt this guy, he’s playing so well, he’s one of a kind. Wish him [the] best of luck.”
Akhtar added that Smith has silenced his critics by proving that he has what it takes to excel in Twenty20 Internationals.
“After his comeback, he has scored tons of runs. Some people were saying he is not a T20 player but he has proven them wrong,” he said.