Table of Contents
- Shoaib Akhtar draws parallels between current Pakistani fast bowlers and the legendary Wasim-Waqar duo.
- Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf impress with 23 wickets in the Asia Cup.
- Akhtar predicts Pakistan’s victory in both the Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup.
Former Pakistan’s pace sensation Shoaib Akhtar draws parallels between the current crop of Pakistani fast bowlers and the golden era of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. In a recent online discussion organized by Star Sports, Akhtar expressed his delight at witnessing the emergence of a formidable pace attack in the Pakistani ranks, reminiscent of the glory days when Wasim and Waqar terrorized batsmen worldwide.
Akhtar praises Pakistan’s pace trio
The present Pakistani pace attack boasts some of the finest talents in the cricketing world, with Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf leading the charge. Together, these three young guns have already made a significant impact, collectively snaring an impressive 23 wickets in the initial three matches of the Asia Cup, which is serving as a prelude to the forthcoming ODI World Cup set to be held in India.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, in particular, made a resounding statement with a fiery performance against India, causing chaos in their top order during a group stage encounter, even though the match was ultimately abandoned due to rain after just one innings. His left-arm pace continues to be a significant threat as Pakistan gears up for a pivotal Super Four clash against arch-rivals India.
Speaking about this emerging trio, Akhtar exclaimed,
“These youngsters are very, very talented, and I am happy that Pakistan is able to produce such fast bowlers over and over again. This pace battery reminds me of the old days… reminds me of that era of two Ws (Waqar and Wasim). They are very confident and have the mindset of taking wickets.”
The iconic duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis wreaked havoc in their prime, collectively amassing over 900 ODI wickets with their searing reverse swing deliveries. Now, Shaheen leads the new generation alongside Naseem, but it is Haris Rauf who currently tops the Asia Cup bowling charts with an impressive nine wickets to his name.
Akhtar, who once formed a formidable partnership with Wasim and Waqar, offered valuable insights into the trio’s strengths. He highlighted Shaheen’s exceptional form and the wicket-taking mindset shared by Haris Rauf. For Naseem Shah, he advised a more aggressive approach, urging him to focus on delivering wicket-taking balls, given his ability to generate substantial seam movement.
Pakistan has a storied history of producing legendary fast bowlers like Fazal Mahmood, Sarfraz Nawaz, and World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan. With the current pace battery firing on all cylinders, Akhtar confidently declared Pakistan as the favorites to clinch victory in both the Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup, setting the stage for a riveting showdown with their perennial rivals, India.
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