Variation most important for Twenty20 bowlers, says Wasim Akram

Fast bowling legend Wasim Akram may not have played in the youngest format of cricket, but he has no doubt that variation is the passport to success for bowlers in the Twenty20 game.

The former Pakistan skipper, now the bowling consultant of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders, said variation in bowling was a must to outthink batsmen.

“You got to alter your line and length, and pace,” Akram said on Sunday after giving tips to youngsters at the ongoing KKR camp at the Eden Gardens.

He said the pacers have their task cut out on the mostly flat sub-continent wickets with the conditions not very conducive to seam or swing. “Moreover, in day night games, one has to keep in mind the dew factor”.

The out-of-form pacer Ishant Sharma also received the vote of confidence from Akram. “Ishant is a special talent. As I have already said, it’s not easy for the quicks in the subcontinent, we shouldn’t put too much pressure on him. I believe he will soon be back firing on all cylinders.”

The fast bowling great also praised Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis, who joined the KKR camp Sunday. “We must give him confidence. He has been playing international cricket for two years and the batsmen have now started to pick his deliveries. And the boy now has to work a bit extra”.

On KKR’s prospects in the upcoming IPL edition, after a poor show in the first two chapters, he said: “All the KKR players are dying to perform well and win. Skipper Sourav (Ganguly) is a captain who is very keen to win matches. He is working hard as also the other boys. I am hopeful of a turnaround”.

Akram seemed impressed with young medium pacers like Bengal’s Eklakh Ahmed.

“The team has got fine young prospects like Eklakh. I am also very impressed with Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwary,” Akram added.

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