Ending his media commitments after the World Cup in Australia, Wasim Akram has flown down to Kolkata to resume his role of a bowling consultant for the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, where he coaches Indian bowlers like Umesh Yadav and others.
The king of swing was seen giving tips to the KKR boys and sharing his experience while he was interviewed by the media. He was enthusiastic about the way Indian fast bowling has evolved and is confident that it will go places with the kind of talent the country possesses. “The passion that the people of this country have for this game is amazing. And also these young players have got heroes of their own in Shami, Umesh and Varun Aaron.” Akram said.
Fast bowling also about longevity: Akram
Being a genuine left-arm pacer who troubled the batsmen world-over for about 18 years, Wasim Akram threw few caveats in the air as he spoke. “Fast bowling is coming into Indian cricket but these youngsters have to be told that pace bowling is not about just one spell. You have to think about how you can bowl fast for the next 10 years.” cautioned the fast-bowler.
He was impressed with Umesh Yadav and said “He is a very talented bowler. He has pace, swing and he is really on the right path. And what I like about him is that he is a hard-working lad.” Not just Umesh Yadav, the Pakistani great has also mentored bowlers like Ashok Dinda, Ishant Sharma and has earlier had real concern for the bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan.
When he was asked to comment on another Indian quickie, Zaheer Khan’s return to Indian realms, he was candid in his response, “If you have been playing first-class cricket then a comeback is easy, but if you are playing IPL to IPL then it becomes difficult for a pacer. And after 35 you have to play regular cricket. Look 36 is not an age where you get old as a bowler. So if he is playing first-class cricket there should not be a problem in making a comeback with his experience.”
Akram’s approach to coaching bowlers
He also gave insights as to how he goes about coaching the players, “I try and make them think. How you bowl according to a situation? I tell them to ask me a question. I work with them in the nets.
“I had told Umesh that you have to eventually learn to take the new ball away from the left-hander on flat wickets. And you all would have seen in the World Cup that he really got the new ball going away from the left-hander, which used to be the one that always came in.”Published 17 Apr 2015, 01:43 IST