Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan legend Sarfraz Nawaz said the iconic Australian pace duo of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson were the two fastest bowlers he faced during his career.
He even recalled an instance when he was hit on the glove on the first ball that he faced against Lillee.
The 72-year-old said that Lillee was bowling so quick that he “had no clue where the ball was”.
“The fastest bowlers I faced were Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. I remember walking into bat to face Lillee at Perth during a tour match, back in the day when it was a lightning quick pitch,” he told Wisden as quoted by PakPassion. “They used to arrange for touring sides to play at Perth to soften us up and quite often it worked.
“I walked out to a few verbals from the Australian players and got hit on the glove the very first ball that I faced. I hadn’t faced bowling so quick in my career and did not see the ball at all. Thankfully my batting partner called me for a run after the ball had smashed into my gloves. I had no clue where the ball was but knew that I would be safer at the non-striker’s end so just ran for my life.”
Lillee represented Australia in 70 Tests and took 355 wickets at an average of 23.92.
He also claimed 103 wickets in 63 ODIs at an average of 20.82.
As for his first-class career, the 72-year-old picked up 882 wickets in 198 games at an average of 23.46.
In regards to Thomson, he snapped up 200 wickets in 51 Tests at an average of 28.
He also took 55 wickets in 50 ODIs at an average of 35.30.
The 71-year-old featured in 187 first-class matches and claimed 675 wickets at an average of 26.46.