Wasim Akram has given Brett Lee, the Australian fast bowler, a tip or two on reverse-swing and believes he will unleash it on England in this winter's Ashes. Lee and two of his Australian bowling mates, Nathan Bracken and Mitchell Johnson, approached Akram, now a television commentator, during the second Test against Bangladesh earlier this week.
"These guys want to improve, so they want to ask the top cricketers [for advice] and that's good," Akram told AAP. "I did tell them the little details about reverse-swing. I think soon in the Ashes we will be seeing Brett Lee bowling reverse-swing."
Akram, perhaps the finest practioner of the art of reverse swing, tormented many batsman during the 1990s in partnership with Waqar Younis. "It was about action, about seam, a lot of talk about reverse-swing," Akram said. "Brett Lee is a sight to watch in world cricket. Any bowler comes to me from any nationality, I am there to help."
Lee has used reverse-swing with devastating effect at times during his career with inswinging yorkers at speeds of more than 150kmh near unplayable. "We spoke about a number of things from conventional swing to reverse swing and different lines and lengths," Lee said about his chat with Akram. "He gave us a few pointers and ways to try and get the ball to swing a bit more as the Australian cricket team haven't really mastered the art of it yet. England did it very well last year when we played against them in the Ashes. They got the ball swinging a lot. They had a lot of our batsmen caught at the crease, either being bowled or lbw."
Troy Cooley, the former England bowling coach now with Australia, is expected to meet the Australian think-tank at the end of the Bangladesh tour. Cooley was credited with teaching England's bowlers how to use reverse swing, with Simon Jones using the practice as early as the 15th over in one innings during the 2005 Ashes series.