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Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif has revealed that under the late Bob Woolmer, who was the national team’s head coach, he feared no one.
Asif noted that Woolmer completed changed his attitude and “filled me with self-belief and told me never to fear or worry about batsmen”.
The 38-year-old added that thank to Woolmer’s advice and constant encouragement, it resulted in him going to the next level as a bowler.
“I was always confident about my abilities and working with the Late Bob Woolmer further instilled an attitude in me where I didn’t fear any opponent,” he told Wisden as quoted by PakPassion. “He filled me with self-belief and told me never to fear or worry about batsmen, rather let batsmen worry about what I could do with the ball. His coaching took me to the next level as a bowler and his guidance was very beneficial to me.
“The difference with me and many of today’s bowlers is that too many bowlers bowl to the wicketkeeper and are satisfied with maiden overs or the ball continually hitting the wicketkeeper’s gloves.
“My theory was that it was all about bowling at the stumps and making the batsman play as much as possible. To me, it was all about the wickets column and not about maiden overs or wasted deliveries that the batsman could just leave.”
Asif is renowned for being one of Pakistan’s best swing bowlers, but his international career was cut short when he was banned for five years for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.
Many legendary players, such as England’s Kevin Pietersen and South Africa’s Hashim Amla, have admitted that Asif was the toughest bowler they faced.
Asif took 106 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 24.36, 46 wickets in 38 ODIs at an average of 33.13 and 13 wickets in 11 T20 Internationals at an average of 26.38.