Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Legendary Pakistan left-arm seamer Wasim Akram bowled to some of the greatest batsmen to ever play the sport, but which one did he find the toughest to bowl to?
Instead of picking Sir Vivian Richards, Allan Border or Sachin Tendulkar, Akram surprisingly admitted that former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was the man he found the most difficult to bowl to.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) December 3, 2019
Explaining why this was the case, Wasim, in a video posted by Fox Cricket on Twitter, said: “You know it’s a very difficult question to answer. I have played against the great Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, all these guys, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, but if I have to pick one guy, it has to be Martin Crowe.
“The reason was he got runs against me and Waqar (Younis) in 1993 in Pakistan. In three Test matches, I think Waqar got 30 wickets and I played two Test matches and I got 16 wickets. It was reverse swinging after about 10 overs and we were quick, we were [at the] peak of our careers, 23 or 24 both of us were, and he got two hundreds.
“I think his technique was as such that he was always on the front foot and he always played the in-swing. When it’s reverse swinging, you always play in-swing and the out-swing will automatically go away. As a bowler, me and Waqar used to get frustrated because he was always on the front foot. And then we used to bowl short, and that’s what he wanted us to do.
“He was a difficult batsman to get out and nobody knew what reverse swing was then.
“All these guys got runs, the great Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Mark Taylor, even Mark Waugh, they all got runs.
“By the time it is 1995/96, the world knew what reverse swing was, like you guys said he was ball tampering and then you learned the art, it became reverse swing.”
Akram took 414 wickets in 104 Tests at an average of 23.62, and also claimed 502 wickets in 356 ODIs at an average of 23.52.