Pat Cummins is an asset but don’t think Jofra Archer will last long: Shoaib Akhtar

Written by Vipin Darwade

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has shared an anecdote in which he has revealed that he along with Shahid Afridi were planning to dismiss legendary India batsman Rahul Dravid early as they wanted to enjoy their Friday night.

Shoaib Akhtar said Sachin Tendulkar was not playing in the match and India had lost quick wickets in the match. It was then Shahid Afridi asked him to bowl some special delivery and dismiss the Indian ‘Wall’. Akhtar ‘almost’ got the wicket of Dravid when one of his delivery hit the former Karnataka batsman’s pads. Akhtar appealed to the umpire and even told him about his Friday night plans but was unsuccessful in the attempt.

“If a batsman used to play, like Rahul Dravid, we would bowl him length balls. From close to the stump we would aim the gap between bat and pad, try hit the ball on the pad. There was a final mach in Bangalore, I had dismissed Sadagoppan Ramesh early, we took 3-4 wickets early. Sachin Tendulkar was not playing.

“Shahid Afridi and I said Rahul Dravid will take a lot of time and it’s Friday night today. Afridi said bowl something and take his wicket else he will play for long. I hit him directly on the pad and urged umpire to raise his fingers. I even said it’s our Friday night. He did not give the decision in our favour but we had won in the end. Dravid was a difficult and. determined batsman. It was difficult for me as well as him. He would play against me easily, Shoaib Akhtar said while talking to former India opener Aakash Chopra.

In the 1999 Pepsi Cup final match in Bangalore, an Ajay Jadeja-led India had lost to Pakistan by 123 runs. Shoaib Akhtar had claimed two wickets in the match.

Shoaib Akhtar also talked about the current generation fast bowlers saying Pat Cummins was an asset for Australia. Akhtar raised his concern over the future of England pacer Jofra Archer. The Rawalpindi-born said Archer’s pace was already dropping and he would not be able to last long.

When asked about India pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Akhtar said he had predicted about Bumrah’s back injury in advance. He added that Bumrah has a difficult action and playing in all the formats will be difficult for him.

“There is a peak time for bowlers when they get 2-3 years where they can 100-150 wickets, then the bowler is bound to face a breakdown. A joint will stop functioning in the same manner after 200-400 overs. You will have to rest to get back the same energy. Jofra Archer’s pace is not going above 140 kmph, Pat Cummins is an asset but Jofra Archer, I don’t think will last.


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Vipin Darwade