Former Pakistan captain and the best left-arm bowler the world has ever seen, Wasim Akram has recently named the top five batsmen that he has either bowled to played alongside during his playing days. Akram was a part of his former teammate, Basit Ali’s YouTube show, and when he was asked about who are his five most favorite batsmen and was asked to rank them in terms of their ability to perform in Test Cricket.
Wasim Akram has opted for the real master-blaster in Cricket, Sir Vivian Richards on the top spot.
“If you talk about a batsman with an unmatched technique, charisma and someone who had a huge impact on the game, it is Sir Vivian Richards. I have played against all the greats from the mid-eighties to the nineties to the 2000s, but Viv Richards was a class apart,” Akram said.
Akram opted for former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe for the 2nd spot.
“At number two I will put Martin Crowe because of his sheer technique. At a time when the world had no idea about how to face reverse swing, he played against us. It was a series where Waqar picked up 30 wickets in three matches and I picked up 16 wickets in one and a half matches as I got injured. Crowe had scored two centuries in that series.
“After the series, I asked him how did you play me and Waqar so well. He said ‘I played you and Waqar on the front foot when you guys are bowling in swingers and I didn’t follow the ball that was swinging away and hence I didn’t edge it,” Akram said while recalling his conversation with Crowe.
He went for former West Indies batsman and world record holder Brian Lara for the 3rd spot and Akram was of the opinion that Lara was a difficult batsman to bowl at because of his many movements before the delivery.
“At number three I will put ‘the prince’, Brian Lara. He was a quality batsman. He was very different and odd to bowl at. His bat would come from various directions. He was never settled and it was difficult to bowl to him,” Akram said.
Akram opted for his former teammate Inzamam for the 4th spot on his list. Inzamam was a dependable middle-order batsman for Pakistan and has scored more than 20000 runs in International cricket. Inzamam is the third-highest run accumulator for Pakistan in Test cricket with 8830 runs in 120 matches at an attractive average of 49.60.
Akram kept Sachin at number 5 in his list of favorite batsmen and offered explanations too. He said he can’t talk much about Sachin Tendulkar and he and his long-term fast bowling partner, Waqar Younis didn’t get a chance to bowl at Sachin when they were at the peak of their prowess as bowlers.
“I am keeping Tendulkar aside from this list because we didn’t play Test cricket against him for 10 years. Waqar and I didn’t bowl to him for ten years in Test matches. He came to Pakistan in 1989 as a 16-year old and after that we played against him in 1999.
“I bowled at him at Sharjah in ODIs but Test cricket is different. No doubt he is one of the greats of the game but as a bowler I didn’t bowl to him in my peak and that is why it is difficult for me to judge him,” Akram said.