Five reasons why Wasim Akram is the King of Swing
When it comes to swing bowling, there has never been any bowler in modern cricket history who has come anywhere close to former Pakistan great Wasim Akram. He debuted for Pakistan in an ODI in 1984, when he was 18 years old, and in the next 18 years, became one of the greatest exponents of swing bowling.
In Test cricket, he claimed 414 wickets while in ODIs, he was the record holder with 502 wickets before Muralitharan (503 wickets) eclipsed him.
As far as swing bowling was concerned, he could do everything. The out-swing, the in-swing, vicious reverse swing and everything in between. Other bowlers used to be menacing with the new ball but Akram used to be more devastating with the old one as he sent batting sides crashing to embarrassing collapses with his beguiling reverse.
Moreover, he swung it at pace and more often than not, batsmen found it incredibly difficult to handle him when on song with the old ball. Akram reinvented himself several times during his career but his mastery over swing never left him and here are five reasons why he will forever be the King of Swing.
#5 He could swing it both ways… and late
It is often said that batsmen don't like fast, short-pitched deliveries aimed at their head for a sustained period, but facing a bowler who can swing it both ways and make the ball swerve late can be just as discomforting.
Most bowlers are primarily in-swing bowlers or primarily out-swing bowlers, but Akram was a master at both and hence, it became incredibly difficult for batsmen to formulate a plan to counter him. However, that was not all. Akram had the ability to swing the ball late and that made the act of facing him even harder.
More often than not, batsmen were made to look like fools when Akram was on song.