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Mohammad Asif ‘best bowler’ I ever faced, says England’s Pietersen

England’s former batting powerhouse Kevin Pietersen on Monday named former Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif as the “best bowler” he has ever faced, according to Cricket Australia.

“The best bowler I faced was Mohammad Asif, the bowler from Pakistan who got done for (spot)-fixing,” Pietersen said in a podcast, adding it was “probably not a bad thing because he tormented a lot of batters.”
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Pietersen was England’s all-time leading run-scorer across all formats but he was sensationally axed after the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia in 2013/14. He now plays in leagues.

The 104-Test veteran found Asif the most difficult bowler he ever encountered, and admired Asif’s “ability to make a batsman feel like the ball was accelerating off the wicket in different directions.”

“If I was in good form, he made sure I wasn’t in good form a couple of weeks later after playing him,” he recounted.

“If I wasn’t in good form, I knew I wasn’t in good form after playing him for a couple of weeks during a series.”

In 2006, Asif dismissed Pietersen on his very first ball to him with a golden duck at The Oval in a Test which is now better remembered for Pakistan’s decision to forfeit the match after receiving ball-tampering accusations.

The right-armer took on the former captain four more 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.

However, Asif’s career was met with a rough patch when he was accused of deliberately bowling no-balls in a spot-fixing scandal at Lord’s during the fourth Test of that 2010 tour. The fast bowler faced a five-year ban from the International Cricket Council and a one-year prison sentence in the United Kingdom.

The 34-year-old pacer made a return to first-class cricket in Pakistan in October 2016.

courtesy : dawn news

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