Sharjah: One was the greatest left-arm fast bowler of all time. The other was among the best swing bowlers of this century.
So, when they open up on how to bowl in T10 – a format designed to give batsmen the ultimate freedom to hit sixes – young bowlers have to keep their ears open.
Wasim Akram, the iconic Pakistan fast bowler, and Zaheer Khan, arguably the best Indian pace bowler after the incomparable Kapil Dev, revealed what could be the best weapon for bowlers in T10 cricket.
“The length, I think it’s better to be on the fuller side. If you can get good yorkers, that’s always a good delivery,” the former India fast bowler told reporters at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“But you need to be anticipating what kind of zones the batsman is looking to hit. And look to stay on top,” said Zaheer, who famously bowled Steve Waugh with a scorching yorker in his second one-day game of his career at the ICC Champions Trophy in 2000.
Wasim, who along with his legendary partner Waqar Younis tormented batsmen with devastating yorkers in their heyday, agreed with Bengal Tigers’ Zaheer.
“I was talking to the captain in our team as well and as Zaheer said, the best weapon for any bowler in this format is the yorker,” said Wasim, the Maratha Arabians coach.
“It’s very difficult to hit a low full toss for a six. You can hit a full toss for a six, but it’s difficult to connect the low full toss.
“So that’s why bowlers need to concentrate more on yorkers in this format. Variations will get you results, especially on this ground where even the mis-hits can go for six.
“The T10 is something very different and exciting. This game is so short that you don’t get any time to find your feet. So batsmen are trying to play the big shots right from the first ball,” he said.
Wasim said it was incredible to see the response from the Sharjah crowd in the tournament.
“The crowd is loving it. But I don’t know if the bowlers are enjoying it,” he smiled. “The batsmen and the crowd are enjoying every moment of it. I have played here for 20 years on this ground. It’s good to be back after so many years.”
Zaheer, on the other hand, said support from crowd always gives players a big boost.
“It’s always good to play with good crowd support. And the crowd here has been fantastic. The Sharjah Stadium is such an iconic venue. It’s wonderful to come back,” he said. The T10 League, according to Wasim, will improve the UAE national team.
“It’s a huge experience for the UAE players. They are playing against the best of the best. When you are playing under pressure against top players, your game improves,” he said.
“I think the next time you will see the UAE team, they will be much different. It’s been a great experience for their players here.”