Pakistan’s legendary duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are still regarded as the most thrilling pace bowling duo of all-time. They played in an era where each team had a formidable pace bowling duo such as Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, Glenn McGrath and Damien Fleming, Shaun Pollock and Alan Donald, Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa among others, but Wasim and Waqar stand out for being the ‘King of Swings’.
During their careers, Wasim and Waqar would be pitted against the best of batters. Their rivalries with the likes of Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Aravinda de Silva, Steve Waugh and many more are the stuff of legends. However, the 1990s would always be known for two batters who stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Unlike today, where the Fab 5 are dominating the batting, the 90s had two batting greats – Tendulkar and Lara.
The 1990s, or even today when that era is mentioned is dominated with one question – who was better, Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara? While the two geniuses had their own aura, Tendulkar could not score a triple-century like his West Indies counterpart, or neither could Lara emulate the ODI success of the Indian legend. Ask any of the top bowlers of the 1990s to pick between Lara and Tendulkar, they would stutter.
However, that is not the case with Wasim or Waqar who were prompt with their replies. On being asked to select between Tendulkar and Lara, Wasim and Waqar replied: ‘Brian Lara’ on the Cricket Mania Show on 23News. The second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs, Akram even revealed that the one player whose mind he would like to read is that of the former West Indies captain Lara.
“Whose mind would I want to read? I suppose for me to read someone’s mind, it has to be of some greats of the game. Maybe, Brian Charles Lara because I would want to figure how can I get him out. What is going through his head,” Akram said.
Meanwhile, Waqar said: “It is a difficult one. We played with a lot of legends. My friend here (Wasim) is a legend of the game. I would like to be in his mind when he used to bowl.”
Waqar even mentioned Lara as the best batter he has ever bowled to, while Akram went with former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe