Imran Khan was unplayable when ball tampering was legal: Arun Lal

Imran Khan was unplayable when ball tampering was legal: Arun Lal

Arun Lal heaped praises on Imran Khan.

Imran Khan. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Former Indian opener and widely regarded as one of the best in Indian domestic cricket, Arun Lal has opened up on how fearful the Pakistani bowling attack headed by their captain Imran Khan was and termed the early 80s as the ‘bowling era’ giving credits to the mighty bowling attacks of Pakistan and West Indies. Arun Lal played for India, as a right-handed batsman, between 1982 and 1989.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Arun Lal spoke about the imposing presence of Imran Khan and various other topics such as his small spell as part of the Indian cricket team and how bowlers dominated in the ’70s and the ’80s. “It was very very difficult. That was a different era, the bowling era. All teams had bowlers who were exceptionally good,” he initiated.

When asked about the incredible fast bowling in those days and whom he felt difficult to face, Lal revealed how Imran Khan was almost unplayable and whereby Pakistan used reverse swing to their advantage and mentioned the use of ball-tampering when it was legal.

“Imran Khan to me was the toughest, especially after the concept of reverse swing started. They were the first ones to use it, unfortunately, it also came to ball-scruffing, which later became illegal.” He continued by saying that even though the swing bowler (Kapil Dev) was on his side, Imran was swinging it frighteningly and he was beaten by 6-8 inches sometimes.

Everything was going Imran Khan’s way: Arun Lal

The 64-year-old continued his acclaim on Imran Khan, how his presence was fantastic to see being the captain of the team quoting it was his time. “Imran was very fit and had an enormous physicality to him on the ground. From ’82 onwards, it was his time. His presence, personality and the way he came into bowl was fantastic to see. He was captaining as well, everything was going the way he wanted to.”

In the early days of reverse swing, Pakistani bowlers were accused of ball-tampering to achieve the conditions of the ball that allow reverse swing. Former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz –- widely regarded as a pioneer of reverse swing, refused to accept the significance that the skill requires ball-tampering. The recent news it that ball-tampering could become legal in the post-Corona world.