With Indian bowlers ruling the roost in the 2023 edition of the ICC World Cup, legendary Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram has provided his valuable insights about the bowling styles of Indian pace spearheads Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. After thrashing second-placed South Africa in its penultimate league match, Rohit Sharma’s Team India is set to meet New Zealand in the semi-final stage of the World Cup.
Rohit and Co. are the only unbeaten side in the 2023 World Cup. While Pakistan are set to bow out of the World Cup on Saturday, the arch-rivals of the crestfallen Babar Azam’s side are heading to the semi-final stage as the table-toppers. India sealed its top spot after thrashing second-placed South Africa in its previous World Cup outing at the famous Eden Gardens. The free-scoring Proteas folded for just 83 runs to record their biggest defeat at the World Cup.
‘Shami’s every delivery hits…’
Speaking on Pakistani news channel A Sports, fast-bowling great Akram discussed the phenomenal run of Indian pacers at the World Cup. “For starters, as a bowler, the confidence at this level has got to be like ‘I am one of the best’, and these guys (Indian pacers) have that confidence. Once you have that, then all the hard work you have done over the years (pays off),” Akram said.
“Shami’s every delivery hits the seam, it’s not wobble, just goes straight and kisses the pitch. He doesn’t bang the ball in,” Akram continued. Speedster Shami has become undroppable ever since he replaced injured Hardik Pandya in India’s bowling lineup for the World Cup. The veteran fast bowler is the all-time leading wicket-taker for India at the 50-over World Cup. Raving about Shami, Pakistan’s Akram was quick to recall the pacer’s duel with Ben Stokes at the World Cup.
‘Stokes had no clue what to do’
“Stokes had no clue what to do. Look at his length, came around the wicket to seam (the ball) out and then last ball he brought in. But his length and seam position never changed, off-stump or top of off-stump. Wahi se andar, wahi se bahar (moving the ball in and out from the same spot). That’s why he is so difficult,” Akram further explained.
‘Bumrah swings with his wrist’
Shami has picked up 14 wickets in just 4 games at the 2023 World Cup. His teammate Bumrah has bagged 15 wickets in 8 matches for India. Bumrah and Shami will lead India’s bowling attack against the Netherlands in the final league game of the World Cup. India’s “Bumrah swings with his wrist, Shami with seam; and obviously he has got good pace as well, 142-145 kmph,” he added.