Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma impresses former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram with his guile
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram is impressed with leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who finished as India's best bowler in the two-match Twenty20 series against Australia. Sharma dismissed Mitchell Marsh and Brad Hogg at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) yesterday.
He drew young Marsh into the front foot with a sharp leg-break, before having him stumped. Sharma, a tall bowler like his idol Anil Kumble, generated awkward bounce that the likes of David Hussey and Matthew Wade found difficult to get on top of, on a consistent basis. Because the Australians struggled to find the boundaries off Sharma, a few run-out chances were created.
Rahul Sharma bowls during the first T20 match against Australia at the
ANZ Stadium in Sydney on February 1. Pic/AFP
"I really like Rahul. Though he is very similar to Kumble, he can turn the ball too. I'm not saying that Kumble couldn't spin the ball, but he depended more on line and length. With that awkward height, if he can generate some spin, he can prove to be a real handful," the swing legend told MiD DAY during the mid-innings break of the second and final T20.
Sharma was left with a bloodied finger during the first T20 at Sydney when Travis Birt smacked one back at him. Sharma just about got his hand up to protect himself, but had his little finger cut. "It won't be a bad option to try him out for a Test match at home," added Akram.
Though Sharma travelled to Australia with the India Emerging Players last July, he didn't feature in any of the Twenty20 or three-day matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Australia captain George Bailey acknowledged that Sharma was hard to score off. "He bowled really well. I thought he would have been easier to face on this quicker wicket. But, he varied his width. It was little tough to get him away because of the awkward bounce -- especially if he doesn't give width," said the Tasmanian.