Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has lavished praise on Shahid Afridi, saying the well-known spinner “is the perfect T20 bowler”.
Watson included Afridi in his top five T20 bowlers of all time, with the legendary all-rounder securing the number two spot.
Explaining why Afridi is so effective in the shortest format of the game, Watson said the 40-year-old takes wickets regularly and doesn’t concede too many runs.
“Number two in my top five T20 bowlers of all time is Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi,” Watson said in a YouTube video for T20 Stars as quoted by Cricket Pakistan. “I am just talking about his bowling right now because obviously he is an incredibly dynamic batsman and everyone knows that.
“But from a bowling perspective, he is the perfect T20 bowler. He is a wicket-taker but also he doesn’t go for many runs and that is a bowler you want in your team. Boom Boom in his 317 domestic games, that he has played so far, has got 339 wickets at an incredible 6.7 runs per over which is just phenomenal.
“He has done that on so many wickets at such a low rate is just phenomenal and that is what you are looking for. That is what you dream of in a T20 bowler. In his 99 T20Is he has taken 98 wickets at a phenomenal economy rate of 6.64.
“Against the best batsmen in the world, he is taking crucial wickets in the middle [overs] which is a really important time in a T20 game, when you are able to get into the middle and the lower order. He takes crucial wickets because he is an attacking bowler but also because he is so skillful. He doesn’t go for many runs.”
Watson picked Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga as his top T20 bowler of all time, while India’s Jasprit Bumrah was at three and the West Indies duo of Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine occupied fourth and fifth place respectively.