Pakistan fast bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar has predicted India’s Mohammed Shami has the potential to master reverse swing, an art few subcontinent bowlers possess.
Shami took a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the first Test against South Africa in Vizag to set up India’s big 203-run win on Sunday. Akhtar revealed that Shami had called him up following India’s semi-final exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“After India’s (50-over) World Cup disappointment, Shami called me up one day and said he was feeling sad that he could not do well for India,” Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel. “I told him not to lose heart but maintain fitness. The home series is coming and you will do well I said.”
He continued, “I told Shami that I want him to become a tearaway pacer, running through batting line-ups. He has seam and swing, besides that he has reverse swing which very few bowlers in the subcontinent have. I told him you can become king of reverse swing. Now, you see what he has done, he has got wickets from a docile pitch. I am very happy for him.”
Akhtar, who took 178 wickets from 46 Tests, said it’s a sad scenario that Indian bowlers are asking him for advice but not from his own country. “Sadly, our Pakistani fast bowlers don’t ask me how they can improve their bowling but the Indian bowlers like Shami are doing that. It is a sad scenario as far as my country is concern.”