Former Pakistan seamer Mohammad Asif alleged that the Pakistan pacers currently in New Zealand with the national team are much older than what the papers suggest.
Asif’s remarks came after Pakistan lost the first Test to New Zealand by 101 runs, under the leadership of stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan. During a conversation with former wicketkeeper-batsman and teammate Kamran Akmal on YouTube, Asif hit out at the bowlers’ inability to bowl longer spells.
“They [current Pakistan bowlers] are so aged. It is written as 17-18 years on paper, but they are actually 27-28 years old. They don’t have the flexibility to bowl 20-25 overs. They don’t know how to bend the body and they become stiff after a while. They are not able to stand on the field after bowling a 5-6 over spell,” Asif said without taking any names.
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Asif expressed his disappointment over the present crop of fast bowlers in the national team. He called them ‘kids’ who have ‘no knowledge’ of bowling in international cricket.
“These kids do not have the knowledge. They don’t know how to keep the batsmen on the front foot, not give them a single and how to bowl on the wickets. When they try to bowl on the wickets, it goes down the leg-side. They do not have the control,” Asif said.
The former cricketer also recalled the time when the legends such as Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan dominated Pakistan’s bowling attack. Asif himself had formed a potent pairing with legendary speedster Shoaib Akhtar during his playing days.
“I feel it might have been 5-6 years since a fast bowler took 10 wickets in a match. We used to salivate after seeing the pitches like the ones in New Zealand. There was no question of leaving the ball as a fast bowler. I never used to leave the ball before taking a five-wicket haul,” said Asif.
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Among the current lot of Pakistan pacers doing duty in New Zealand, Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah are 20 and 17-year-old respectively. Mohammad Abbas is 30 and Faheem Ashraf is 26.