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Is This Pakistan’s Best Pace Attack Since Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib?

Pakistan has long been renowned for producing exceptional fast bowlers, and its history is filled with remarkable pacers, who have made an indelible mark on the game.

From the era of Imran Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz to the present generation, the fast-bowling legacy of the team is one that inspires awe due to its talent, skill, and aggression.

In the 80s, the attack was spearheaded by two extraordinary pacers, Imran Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz, who possessed a rare combination of pace, swing, and lethal accuracy.

The duo was not only known for their fast bowling and wicket-taking abilities but also for their skill in extracting reverse swing from the old ball, which was a nightmare for batters.

Wasim, Waqar & Shoaib

The mantle of national fast-bowling prowess was then passed on to the famous trio of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Akram, with his ability to swing the ball both ways, was a magician on the field. His variations in pace, control, and uncanny ability to reverse swing the ball were truly exceptional.

Waqar Younis, on the other hand, epitomized raw aggression. His blistering pace and deadly toe-crushing yorkers struck fear into the hearts of even the most resolute batters.

And then Shoaib Akhtar, whose sheer speed was unlike anything the cricketing world had witnessed before. His fiery temperament also made him a favorite among the crowds.

Together, the trio represented the country for over a decade, during which the national team reached tremendous heights with numerous victories at home and abroad.

The trio took a total of 1,165 wickets in ODI cricket, with Wasim and Waqar still leading as the first and second-highest wicket-takers among fast bowlers in the 50-over format.

Bowler Matches Wickets Average  4W 5W
Wasim Akram 356 502 23.5
Waqar Younis 262 416 23.8
Shoaib Akhtar

Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir & Umar Gul

As the millennium unfolded, Pakistan witnessed the trio of Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir, albeit for a relatively short period, causing nightmares for batters.

Umar Gul, with his uncanny ability to swing the ball, became a key component of the national bowling attack. He was known for his lethal yorkers that could demolish the stumps.

Mohammad Asif was a master of swing and seam movement. His impeccable line and length troubled batters, making him a nightmare to face with the new as well old ball.

And then there was Mohammad Amir, a prodigious talent who could swing the ball both ways and had the potential to become one of the great fast bowlers of the game.

During this period, Pakistan witnessed deadly fast bowling with variations, resulting in numerous victories. Together, they took 306 wickets in ODI cricket in a short span of time.

Bowler Matches Wickets Average  4W 5W
Umar Gul 130 179 29.3
Mohammad Asif 38
Mohammad Amir 61 81 29.6

Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf & Naseem Shah

In recent years, the national team has been fortunate to witness the rise of another exciting generation of fast bowlers, such as Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf.

Shaheen made his debut in 2018 and delivered an exceptional performance in the 2019 World Cup, picking up 16 wickets in just 5 games, reminding everyone of Wasim Akram.

The left-arm fast bowler is considered an integral part of the national bowling unit in all three formats due to his consistency, and his recent performances deserve praise.

Naseem Shah, who burst onto international cricket at a young age, has also been making headlines with his performances, contributing significantly to the team’s victories.

Haris Rauf emerged with his blistering pace and exceptional yorker-specialist abilities, and his performances for the national team have been remarkable in the recent past.

Together, this trio possesses a lethal combination of pace, swing, accuracy, and aggression. They have the potential to dismantle batting lineups and take wickets consistently.

Bowler Matches Wickets Average  4W 5W
Shaheen Afridi 36 70 23.9
Haris Rauf 22 39
Naseem Shah 8 23 15.0

What do you think? Is this Pakistan’s best pace attack since Wasim, Waqar, and Shoaib? Write down your comments below!

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