Faisal Akram, a 17-year old spin-bowling prodigy from Pakistan, has said that he would like to take the wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Akram, who is known for his brilliant variations and deceptive guile despite his tender age, recently came into the limelight after dismissing Pakistan captain Babar Azam in a practice match.
Faisal Akram talked about his dream to take Virat Kohli's wicket and the international bowler whose action he has tried to copy.
"My dream is to get the wicket of Virat Kohli and hopefully it will come true. My favourite bowler in international cricket was Brad Hogg, who I have followed from the beginning and also try to copy," Faisal Akram said.
Who is Faisal Akram?
Faisal Akram, the Multan-born left-arm wrist-spinner, first shot to prominence in the 2018-19 season of the Pakistan Cricket Board's U-16 Pentangular Tournament, where he was the highest wicket-taker.
Continuing his terrific bowling form in the U-19 set-up as well, Faisal Akram picked up 27 scalps in just ten appearances in the recently-concluded National U-19 One Day Cup 2020-21.
Faisal Akram was called up to the national team's training camp ahead of their tour of South Africa, where the Pakistan batsmen will have to contend with the threat of Tabraiz Shamsi, another left-arm wrist-spinner. The South African slow bowler caused a lot of problems to Pakistan in the recent T20I series played in Lahore.
The key highlight of Faisal Akram's nascent career came just a few days ago at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, as he dismissed Pakistan's finest batsman and captain Babar Azam in a practice match.
Babar Azam was trapped plumb in front in the practice match off a Faisal Akram leg-break that turned viciously and thudded his front pad.
Faisal Akram admitted that he felt intimidated bowling to a world-class batsman like Babar Azam but also said that taking his wicket gave him immense confidence.
“He (Babar Azam) is a world-class player, so I was under a little bit of pressure early on. But Waqar (Younis) bhai, who was standing beside me as an umpire, gave me confidence and said that I could do it. I was bowling well at that time, so Babar Azam bhai got a good ball and was dismissed. After that my confidence just sky rocketed," said Faisal Akram.
The left-arm wrist-spinner’s excellent performances have earned him a call-up to Pakistan’s U-19 squad for their tour of Bangladesh next month.
After excelling in the domestic scene, Faisal Akram will now look forward to make a step up and excel for Pakistan on the international stage.