Haven't seen a bowler as good as Wasim Akram: AB de Villiers

Faizan Lakhani

BIRMINGHAM: The cricket world in the last few years has produced some really good fast bowlers, but South African ODI captain AB de Villiers believes no one was close to Pakistani legend Wasim Akram.

AB de Villiers was talking to media ahead of his team’s ICC Champions Trophy match against Pakistan and a journalist questioned him about his tweet in which he mentioned watching one of the videos of Wasim Akram on a TV channel.

“Amazing footage on Skysports2! @wasimakramlive was one seriously talented bowler. Crazy skill!” the South African captain had tweeted.

His tweet became the reference to one of the questions during the pre-match press conference where he also spoke about his team’s preparation for the match against Pakistan.

“Last night you tweeted something about Wasim Akram's skills. How do you compare Pakistan's bowling attack? Do you think there is any bowler who can be as threatening or as skilful as him,” asked a journalist during the press conference.

The South African captain didn’t take much time in saying “No, no one. I haven't seen a bowler as good.”

“It was just nice to watch the programme, and I felt that I needed to just get it out there. I get along with him well. He's at Calcutta with the IPL every year, and we always have nice chats. And to actually get a bit of insight in the programme on how he used to bowl and what he was thinking while he was bowling is really nice,” said AB de Villiers.

“Obviously shared all of that with a lot of players in the past, not only with Pakistan players but a lot of players at the IPL. But that's something you're born with. It's a natural skill that he was born with,” he said.

The South African captain said that he is not worried about Pakistan’s spin attack and his team is ready for Pakistani spinners.

“Yeah, two of the four are part-time spinners,” AB de Villiers said when a journalist referred to Pakistan’s spin strength.

“We've played against a lot of opposition in the last, two, three years with two spinners in it. We just played a series against England now with a couple of spinners in at wrist spinner, also finger spinner,” he added.

When a journalist reminded the South African captain about the last encounter between the two in an ICC event - the World Cup 2015- Pakistan got better of the Proteas, AB de Villiers recalled that South Africa was better when both met at the same venue (Edgbaston) in the previous edition of ICC Champions Trophy.

“The last time we played them in Champions Trophy, we got the better of them at the same ground. So we are confident going into this game, without being arrogant or overconfident. We played really good, won our first game in the tournament. We did all the basics really well, so we'll be focusing on that,” he said.