Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has reportedly revealed to foreign media that on the one hand, young Pakistani pacers in the team do not ask him for help or counsel, despite the fact that he is approachable and ready to offer his inputs, and on the other hand, that Indian bowlers such as Mohammad Shami have stayed in touch with him and at times seek. his opinion
He said in his youtube channel, "Sadly, our Pakistani fast bowlers don't ask me how they can improve their bowling but the Indian bowlers like Shami are doing that. It is a sad scenario as far as my country is concerned."
Shoaib Akhtar was highly impressed with Shami’s performance in the first Test match against South Africa. Applauding his performance, Akhtar said, “I told Shami that I want him to become a tearaway pacer, running through batting line-ups. He has seam and swing, besides that he has reverse swing which very few bowlers in the subcontinent have. I told him you can become king of reverse swing," said Akhtar. “Now, you see what he has done, he has got wickets from a docile pitch (in Visakhapatnam). I am very happy for him,” he added.
The former fast bowler also said he once advised Shami and told him not to lose heart and maintain his fitness. Akhtar said, “After India’s (50-over) World Cup disappointment, Shami called me up one day and said he was feeling sad that he could not do well for India. I told him not to lose heart but maintain fitness. The home series is coming and you will do well I said.”
Rohit Sharma’s outstanding performance in his first Test as an opener impressed Akhtar. Sharma scored hundreds in both the innings against South Africa with the scores of 176 & 127 respectively. Appreciating Sharma’s efforts he said, “Rohit Sharma is hitting hundred after hundred and I have been saying that Rohit should be in the Indian Test team. From here, he will become a great Test player. Rohit the Test player will grow bigger." He also said that Virat Kohli is a “bowlers’ captain”.
READ | Shami achieves 5-wicket haul in 4th innings against South Africa
Mohammad Shami finished with bowling figures of 5/35 in the first Test match against the Proteas. From his five wickets, Shami got four bowled dismissals. His delivery to get rid of the South African skipper Fad du Plessis really stood out.