‘Find of India, the best fast bowler of world’: Shoaib Akhtar’s highest praise for India quick
India vs New Zealand: Shoaib Akhtar reserved the highest praise for India fast bowler Mohammed Shami after his bowling stretched the 3rd India-New Zealand T20I into the Super Over. Shami was rested from the 4th T20I and replaced by Navdeep Saini in India’s Playing XI.Updated: Feb 02, 2020, 08:53 IST
Indian fast bowlers being labelled as the best is nothing new in the last couple of years but when it comes from a former Pakistan speedster, who still holds the record for the fastest delivery – 161.3 km/h against England in 2003 – it still warrants a special mention. Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar reserved the highest praise for India fast bowler Mohammed Shami, terming him ‘the best fast bowler in the world’ after his heroics in the last over of the 3rd T20I against New Zealand stretched the match into Super Over. India, down and out at one stage, in the end, ended up on the winning side in Super Over at Hamilton to claim their maiden T20I series in New Zealand.
Shami, who was rested from the 4th T20I and replaced by Navdeep Saini, had only 9 runs to defend in the last over with two set batsmen – Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor – in the crease. Shami was hit for a six in his first ball. The right-arm seamer, however, made a roaring comeback after that, dismissing Williamson for 95 and then bowling two dot balls to Seifert – one was converted into a bye. When the equation was down to 1 run off 1 ball Shami knocked over Taylor’s stumps to send the Hamilton crowd in frenzy.
“When Taylor hit Shami for a six in the first ball, I thought the match was over but that’s where the experience of Shami came into play. He realized there was little bit of dew which will help the ball skid if he hits the length,” said Akhtar on his Youtube channel.
Shami bowled short and wide to get the wicket of Williamson and then followed it with similar deliveries to new man Tim Seifert from which the keeper-batsman failed to make any contact. Taylor, who got the strike back after stealing a bye dragged the last ball onto his stumps.
“Taylor hit me a lot through the midwicket region in my last match but unfortunately he dragged the same shot onto his stumps on the last ball. But credit to Shami,” added Akhtar
Crediting Shami’s length variation and his ability to think in pressure situations, Akhtar termed the ‘the find of India and the best fast bowler in the world currently.
“Shami is a very clever bowler. He is the find of India and he is the best fast bowler in the world. Whatever situation you put him in, he always excels, whether it’s a world cup or a T20 in New Zealand, he’s a very very smart fast bowler. When he got to know that yorkers won’t work, he immediately switched to length balls and bouncers,” explained Akhtar
After both sides ended up scoring 179 in the legitimate 20 overs, New Zealand scored 17 runs in the Super Over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. In reply, Rohit Sharma hit two sixes off Tim Southee when 10 runs were needed off 2 balls to seal the victory for India. In the Super
“I feel bad for New Zealand. All the memories of the World Cup crept up. You could almost feel the pain in their eyes,” Akhtar said.
India will take on New Zealand in the 4th T20I at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday.