Wasim Akram picks ’99 India tour as the favourite one
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has picked the 1999 tour of India as his favourite tour. He has admitted that he always enjoyed playing with India as the arch rival country. He also expressed that pressure of playing the neighbours and then winning in India was special to him.
Pakistan won the first Test in Chennai by 12 runs under the captaincy of Washim Akram. Waqar Younis were playing against the great Sachin Tendulkar in that tests although it was first match for Sachin.
“The 90s we won a lot against India. Nowadays it’s a different story. It’s the opposite. The tables have turned I suppose. If you talk about tours, I would pick an India tour. 1999 – We toured India after 10 years,” Akram told former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson.
“I was the captain. The first test was in Chennai. I told my boys, if the stadium is quiet then we are doing our job. So we would never get support in India and India would never get support in Pakistan. That was the thing,” said the 54-year old, regarded as one of the finest left-arm pacers the world has ever seen.
“Saqlain Mushtaq bowled a phenomenal over. The inventor of doosra. We got a standing ovation from the Chennai crowd. That was my favourite tour,” recalled Akram.
“Then in the second Test (Delhi), the pitch was dug so it had to be relaid. Kumble (Anil) got 10 wickets. It was really a memorable tour.”
“I used to enjoy Indo-Pak pressure, used to take it in a positive way,” said Akram.
Akram admitted that, in his long career, he always wanted to do well against Australia and England team.
“England and Australia were the places where I wanted to perform. And against India, it was a different reason why I wanted to perform. Because once you perform against India, you get recognised in your country big time. Vice versa for India.” Akram said.
Akram also opined that bowler you can only get better by making bowling muscles work better and it doesn’t requires gym session as he hates it.
“I started gymming at the age of 33. Before that, I only used to run and bowl everyday.”
“Cricketers are a lot fitter now. But bowling muscle will only get strengthened when you bowl. When I see them exercising in the gym, it doesn’t make any sense to me. People might say I am a 90s guy, and I am a 90s guy.”
Akram also said that, during their days it wasn’t that much as it is now in case of media security.
“There were newspapers then. Nowadays in Pakistan we have 50 news channels. Pressure wasn’t as much, if social media was in my time, I probably would have been sacked in three weeks…off the field tactics (laughs).” Akram added.