ISLAMABAD – Former English batsman Kevin Pietersen said Mohammad Asif was the toughest bowler he had ever faced in his whole cricketing career.
Asif tormented a number of batters and had the ability to make a batsman feel the ball was accelerating off the wicket in different directions, cricket.com.au quoted Kevin Pietersen as saying.
Pietersen said, “if I was in good form, Asif made sure I wasn’t in good form a couple of weeks later after playing him. If I wasn’t in good form, I knew I wasn’t in good form after playing him (Asif) for a couple of weeks during a series.”
In 2006, Asif removed Pietersen with his very first ball to him in international cricket, nicking him off for a golden duck at The Oval in a test better remembered for Pakistan’s decision to forfeit the match in the face of ball-tampering accusations.
The right-armer dismissed him a further four times in international cricket but only once more in tests, with Pietersen becoming one of his five first-innings victims during the first test of Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England.
But Asif’s career was plagued by scandal at Lord’s during the fourth test of that 2010 tour after being accused. He copped a five-year ban from the International Cricket Council, but the 34-year-old, who’s taken 106 test wickets at 24.26, made a return to first-class cricket in Pakistan in October.-APP