Brian Lara played against quite a few lethal bowlers during his career, but, he reckons the one who troubled him the most was the Pakistani legend Wasim Akram.
According to Lara, Akram had a lot of things in his repertoire. He could swing the ball if the conditions were overcast and there was a bit of zip in the wicket, but, at the same time, he also knew how to bowl on flat and slow surfaces.
He would bowl his cutters and use the angles by going close to the wicket and sometimes a little wide off the wicket. He could get the players out on any pitch and the best thing about him was that he was very patient. Even if the wickets were not coming, he would keep bowing in good areas. There were no freebies to latch on when he was at the bowling crease.
Lara was recently in South Africa to promote some sort of campaign. He was asked quite a few questions about his playing days there.
When asked which bowler of his generation he rates the highest, Lara said, “It has got to be Wasim. He was a nightmare for any batsman. He could bowl equally well to the right-handers as well to the left-handers. He was just so skilled. No matter which kind of surface he was bowling on, he was at you all the time with his pace and swing and if it’s a flat deck, he would be bowling his cutters. He would never let you relax as a batsman.”
“Wasim had that unpredictability factor about him. You never knew what he would come up with. He had so many options. I would always be on my toes while facing him and I am sure that would have been the case with many other batsmen too.”