New Delhi, Oct 8: Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has revealed that Indian pacers like Mohammed Shami keep in touch with him for advice on fast bowling and lamented that no Pakistani pacer ever approaches him for his guidance.
Akhtar - who is known as Rawalpindi Express for being the fastest pacer of his generation - believes Shami could be the new reverse swing king. In a video posted on his Youtube channel, he said that he once advised Shami, who played a major in India's big win over South Africa in the first Test, to try and become a tearaway pacer while also using the reverse swing as a lethal arsenal.
"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.
"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 the 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," said the 44-year-old who took 178 wickets from 46 Tests between 1997 and 2007. He said he was ready to give advice to the Pakistani pacers but nobody is asking for his help.
"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 a concern." He also said that Virat Kohli is a "bowlers' captain".
The former cricketer-turned-commentator feels Rohit Sharma's Test career will only grow after his century in both the innings of his debut match as an opener.
"Rohit Sharma is hitting hundred after hundred and I have been saying that Rohit should be in the Indian Test team. Form here, he will become a great Test player. Rohit the Test player will grow bigger," Akhtar stressed further.
(With PTI inputs)