'My mantra was to keep attacking the top players of the world' - Wasim Akram recalls his battles against Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting

‘My mantra was to keep attacking the top players of the world’ – Wasim Akram recalls his battles against Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting

Akram the leading wicket-taker in the ODIs and is the only pacer to have achieved the feat of picking 500 wickets in the format.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

Widely renowned as the ‘King of Swing,’ Wasim Akram is arguably one of the finest fast bowlers that the cricketing fraternity has ever witnessed. With his lethal deliveries, he has troubled the greatest of the batters of his era and had led the pace attack of Pakistan. He is regarded as one of the greats of the game because of his sheer ability to top ranks more often than not.

Akram is the only bowler who has scalped four hat-tricks in the international circuit. He also possesses the honor of being among the four bowlers to secure two Test hat-tricks. He also is the leading wicket-taker in the ODIs and is the only pacer to have achieved the feat of picking 500 wickets in the format. Wasim has secured several wins for Pakistan during his career and was an important cog in the team’s wheel by sailing in the art of reverse swing to greater heights.

After making his mark on the field, the pacer left no stone unturned to shine off the field as well. Having playing against the likes of Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, and Sachin Tendulkar in some enthralling battles, Akram opened up about his bond with these legends in a recent broadcast.

“World-wide I have remained friends with a lot of players. When I go to Australia, Shane Warne lives near my place so I meet him often. I have maintained touch with Brian Lara over the phone. I recently wished Sachin Tendulkar. So, we get in touch,” he said on the Khelo Aazadi Se Show on BSports Pakistan YouTube Channel.

Wasim Akram on his approach of getting the wickets of the greats

Recounting the interesting contests with the finest batters of his era, Akram revealed that he just kept himself focused to get them out. He also stated that he accepted it as a challenge to bowl against them and did not let any negative thoughts make room in his head.

“Have played against some greats – in the late 1980s, 90s and then 2000s. Sachin, Lara, Sunil Gavaskar, Allan Border, Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting. As a bowler, I never thought about anything negative about them that he would hit me or attack me”.

Opening up further he also said that putting pressure on the captain was his ploy as that would help him get the entire team in the back seat. “I just knew that we had to get him out. My mantra was to keep attacking the top players of the world, keep pressure on him. If you put pressure on the captain or the main player, the entire team could crumble so that used to be my plan.”