Fast bowling and Cricket is the most difficult thing to learn in cricket or if we say next to impossible it would not be wrong in the modern era of cricket which gives complete advantage to a batsman. In the long history of the game of cricket you will not find too many genuine fast bowlers apart from Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Shane Bond, Brett Lee and others of the previous two decades like Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc are some of the genuine fast bowlers that world cricket has ever witnessed. The ratio of fast bowlers are not equal as compared to the other bowlers in cricket. What makes these fast bowlers different from others are their abilities to trouble the batsman at the pace over 150 kmph or with the skills like yorkers, the in-swing, the out-swing or the lethal bouncers. When a fast bowler has his day even the greats of the game are into the shambles.
I have followed some of the interviews and interactions of the past of players like Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar. When they were asked about would you like to face someone who bowls to you over 150 kmph. The answers were no if we have other options to avoid facing genuine fast bowlers. We would prefer that rather than getting ourselves injured badly. I think it defines the impact of fast bowling.
Wasim Akram – The left-arm fast bowling is the most difficult thing to face as a batsman when bowlers don't give any sort of advantage to the batsman. Wasim Akram had everything in his arsenal to befuddled even the greats of the game in his career. He was a “trendsetter” and part of the golden era of the Pakistan team in the 90s to early 2000 era. His art of reverse swing the ball has no match and he was first one to use the reverse swing in a most dangerous way to destroy the attitude of a batsman. Wasim Akram debuted at the age of 18 years in 1984 when started his career for Pakistan in white-ball cricket and the next 19 years it was a complete exhibition of Wasim Akram skills. It was completely difficult to face a bowler who had the skills of the in-swing or the out-swing as Wasim Akram had both which sets him apart from others in the league. Probably, there will be no other Wasim Akram ever in the history of cricket.
His action was quick arm which combined with pace, swing, seam movement and variations turned him into the best fast bowler of the 90s. The 1992 world cup was incomplete without this left-arm fast bowler Wasim Akram. If Pakistan had the legendary captain like Imran Khan who was a big reason for Pakistan to lift the cup but somewhere it was possible without the bowler like Wasim Akram who was the match-winner for Pakistan throughout the tournament.
414 wickets in 104 tests and 502 wickets in the white-ball cricket and the second bowler in terms of wicket taker after Muthaih Muralitharan (534). These numbers are more than to know how dangerous Wasim Akram was in his career. He alongside Waqar Younis destroyed the batting line-ups of the teams and won matches single handedly for Pakistan.
There are some of the best things said about Wasim Akram by the players.
Curtly Ambrose “Wasim could do ‘unimaginable’ things with the ball. He is one of my all-time favourites.”
Allan Border “If I ever get a chance to be reborn as a cricketer, I would want to be Wasim Akram.”
Brian Lara “Over my 15 or 16 years of playing international cricket in Tests and one-day internationals, Wasim Akram is definitely the most outstanding bowler I’ve ever faced.”
Ian Bottam “The one player who really stood out for me was Wasim Akram. It was in that tournament that we realised just what a special talent he was and how much trouble he was going to give us and the rest of the world in the years to come.”
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