Wasim Akram passes his verdict on Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, and Martin Crowe
Wasim Akram reserved high-praise for West Indies’ Brain Lara, India’s Sachin Tendulkar, Australia’s Ricky Ponting but stated that New Zealand’s Martin Crowe will always find a mention in his list of greats.Updated: Jul 30, 2020 10:49 IST
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram is regarded as one of the finest left-arm pacers to have ever played the game. He has had duals against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Martin Crowe, Steve Waugh, and many more, making him one the best judges to pick the finest batsmen of the modern era. Akram reserved high-praise for West Indies’ Brain Lara, India’s Sachin Tendulkar, Australia’s Ricky Ponting but stated that New Zealand’s Martin Crowe will always find a mention in his list of greats.
In the 14 years that they played together, Wasim and Sachin have played only 7 Test matches against each other. Akram bowled to a 16-year-old Sachin in his debut series in 1989 and then only had a crack at him 10 years later in 1999. The former Pakistan seamer said, it is, therefore, difficult to judge Sachin from a bowler’s point of view.
“No doubt Sachin is one of the greatest of all time. My Indian fans sometimes get frustrated when I give them my reasons (of a different judgment). I played my first Test match against Sachin in 1989 then I played against him in 99. So I didn’t play Test cricket against him for 10 years so it is a bit difficult to judge him as a bowler but as a player he is one of the greats of the game,” Wasim told former Pakistan cricketer Tanveer Ahmed in a YouTube interview.
Wasim, however, has played 24 ODIs against Tendulkar, in which he has got him out three times.
Akram reserved high-praise for West Indian legend Brian Lara mainly because of his ability to play shots out of nowhere
“Take Brian Lara for instance. He used to score against us with that high backlift. He was a very different batsman. I’ve played a lot against Lara,” said Wasim.
Akram has dismissed Lara nine times in the 40 matches that he has played against him.
Akram, who has played 22 matches against former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, said the right-hander did not start well but later on turned out to be one of the greats of the game.
“I used to get Ricky Ponting out at the start of his career but he, later on, turned out to be one of the greats of the game,” added Akram.
Akram gave a special mention to Martin Crowe for the New Zealander’s ability to play reverse swing.
“Why I like Marin Crowe is there was a series in which Crowe scored two centuries against us. So I asked him how did play us? He said ‘ played both of you (Wasim and Waqar) on the front foot and for the inswing. The outside automatically used to go past the outside edge. Outswing will trouble you when you go to chase the ball. So that was his simple technique. When played us on the front foot we used to bowl bouncers at him which hampered our lines,” said Akram.
Crowe was standout batsman for New Zealand when the Kiwis toured Pakistan 1990. He scored a half-century in the first Test and backed it up with a ton in the second Test even though Pakistan went on to win both the matches.