The moment I’ve been waiting for so long has come!
I’ve been a big fan of Mohammad Asif ever since he came over here to SL on a short tour of 3 ODIs and 2 tests. Thilan Samaraweera got a lot of egg on his face during that test series. In 3 innings, he got out 2 times to Asif, both when shouldering arms to a delivery which pitched way outside off-stump, but jagged back in to hit off-stump!
His bowling action is nothing short of deceiving! He ambles in in a manner that seems like he’s bowling his 30th over. However, his bowling has always been like a snake, spitting at unbelievable angles.
However, a comedy of errors ensured that he didn’t play test cricket for a solid 2 years before the NZ series, and Test cricket was poorer by his absence!
His comeback in NZ was an unprecedented success, having taken 19 wickets at an average of 19.7 and a strike rate of 40. 3 four-wicket hauls, along with a five-wicket haul, completed it.
Therefore, to see him pick a six-fer today was extremely heartening and just goes on to show that, when Asif’s around, don’t put Pakistan in to bowl on a green-top which is damp!
If further proof was needed of his brilliance, he has 79 wickets in 16 tests at an average of 21.78 and a strike rate of 43.9! He hasn’t played against West Indies, Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, further making those stats just plain extra-ordinary!