Legendary Pakistani fast-bowler Wasim Akram has named the batsman which he had the most difficulty bowling to, but admitted that the choice was not an easy one.
“It’s a really difficult question to answer to,” he said, while responding to a question during a panel discussion on Fox Sports. “I’ve played against Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh [and] Steve Waugh. All these guys Brian Lara [and] Sachin Tendulkar, but if I have to pick one guy it has to be Martin Crowe.”
Akram said that the former New Zealand cricketer managed to score runs against him and Waqar [Younis] in their 1993-94 series. “In three Test matches, Waqar got 30 wickets and I played two Test matches and got 16 wickets and it was reverse-swinging after 10 overs. We were quick. I mean, we were at the peak of our careers. 23 or 24 years old, both of us were. He [Crowe] got two hundreds.”
The former fast-bowler said that Crowe’s technique was different, which made him difficult to dismiss even for the Sultans of Swing. “He was always on the front foot and he always played [for] the in-swing. When its reverse-swinging you always play [for the] in-swing. The out-swing automatically goes away. Me and Waqar used to get frustrated because he was on the front foot and then we used to bowl short and that’s what he wanted us to do.”
Wasim said that Crowe left a mark on them and he was a difficult batsman to get out because nobody at that time even knew what reverse swing was, let alone how to negotiate it.