Mohammad Asif only played 23 Tests for Pakistan before his career was cut short by a spot-fixing scandal. Nevertheless, Akhtar feels that he was the smartest seam bowler around.
"Even bigger than Wasim Akram(In terms of smartest fast bowlers), the guy that I've seen bowling is Mohammad Asif. I have actually seen batsmen crying while facing Asif. Laxman once said 'how will I face this guy', AB de Villiers literally started crying during the Asian Test Championship." Akhtar said while speaking on Sports Today.
Mohammad Asif's career at a glance
Asif's career graph had promise, given his impressive ability to move the ball both ways. However, his career came to a tragic end as he was suspended from playing all forms of cricket for seven years for bowling pre-planned deliberate no-balls in the Lords Test against England.
Even before the controversy in 2010, Asif was banned for consuming performance-enhancing substance Nandrolone. The Pakistan Cricket board handed him a two-year ban, and as a result, the seamer failed to make the squad for the 2007 World Cup.
Amidst all this, whenever Mohammad Asif took to the field, he showed his unreal ability to bowl consistent line and lengths. In 23 tests, the seamer picked 106 wickets at an average of 24.37. He was also a part of the IPL's first edition where he played eight games for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals).
Some of Mohammad Asif's best performance came when Pakistan played outside Asia. The fast bowler picked 19 wickets in just three Tests at an impeccable average of 18 when Pakistan toured to South Africa in 2007. During Pakistan's tours to Australia and New Zealand in 2009-10 season, Asif picked 32 wickets in six Tests.Published 01 Jan 2021, 18:29 IST