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'The most complete fast bowler I've seen'
Part two: Allan Donald on the most intimidating bowlers he has seen: Wasim Akram, the complete package
Producer: Gokul Chakravarthy, Interviewer: Nagraj Gollapudi
May 20, 2013
'The most complete fast bowler I've seen'May 20, 2013
Wasim Akram When I first saw him was in the 1992 World Cup... I think that between him and myself, [we] probably ended up bowling the most number of wides in the whole competition but what struck me most about Wasim was his presence. And he was pretty, pretty swift at that stage... I think his greatest attribute was the way he swung the ball and how late he swung the ball. But having played against Wasim before that... and some of the Australian guys I [had] spoken to... especially Ian Healy said he was incredibly... he had a immense presence but he also had an immense presence in... in... in the area as I would call in the hot zone. And when I played against Wasim and I faced him for the first time in Pakistan, I found out how relentless he is...
And he bowled me a bouncer that hit me square on the side of my head which was... well, which was painful to say the least but the way he handled that, the way he came back in his second innings... And he bowled a spell that I'd probably never forget - in Manchester where he bowled really, really quick at me playing for Lancashire. And I think he nicked me off and the ball carried miles to the 'keeper. I just... everything about Wasim Akram was relentless... he swung the ball both ways. I think his greatest asset was... for me made him the ultimate bowler that he was... was being able to swing the ball when it was reversing both ways. He was the bowler for me that you could not tell which way it was swinging, you could not know what he was up to because he did it over the wicket and around the wicket and that to any batsman in the world was the most intimidating factor. And growing up in Pakistan on those really tough wickets, flat wickets, reversing the ball was their greatest skill and I think that that's for me why Wasim Akram was, I would say, the most complete quick bowler that I've ever come across and ever watched.
Gary Kirsten would be one of those who can testify for that because not only did he use the crease so smartly when he was coming over the wicket with the new ball, he found him very tough to line up because he swung the ball so late. I think that his stock delivery - swinging the ball out to the lefties - was a tough line to cover because he swung it from about middle and off stump and he'd use his in-swinger with the new ball very, very smartly because you just never knew when that was coming... and he'd drag you across the crease for some time. But also if anyone had probably one of the best bouncers in the game, it was him. There is no question about it... and that's why he would be my No. 1 most complete fast bowler that I've ever played against and watched.
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