LONDON: Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson believes Pakistani Erstwhile Skipper Shahid Afridi was a perfect Twenty20 bowler and has ranked Boom Boom on Number two in his list of the top five Twenty20 bowlers of all-time.
The 39-year-old added Afridi at number two on his list due to his ability to take wickets at a very low economy rate.
“Number two in my top-five T20 bowlers of all-time is Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi. I am just talking about his bowling right now because obviously he is an incredibly dynamic batsman and everyone knows that. But from a bowling perspective, he is the perfect T20 bowler. He is a wicket-taker but also he doesn’t go for many runs and that is a bowler you want in your team. Boom Boom in his 317 domestic games, that he has played so far, has got 339 wickets at an incredible 6.7 runs per over which is just phenomenal,” said Watson in a YouTube video for T20 stars as quoted by cricketpakistan.com.pk.
The former all-rounder believed that Afridi was a ‘dream’ T20 bowler who had a fantastic record over a long period of time.
“He has done that on so many wickets at such a low rate is just phenomenal and that is what you are looking for.
That is what you dream of in a T20 bowler. In his 99 T20s he has taken 98 wickets at a phenomenal economy rate of 6.64,” he said.
“Against the best batsmen in the world, he is taking crucial wickets in the middle overs which is a really important time in a T20 game, when you are able to get into the middle and the lower order. He takes crucial wickets because he is an attacking bowler but also because he is so skillful. He doesn’t go for many runs,” he said.
Watson also shed light on facing Afridi over the course of his career, while admitting that the former hardly ever bowled a freebie.
“Facing Boom Boom a lot throughout my career, you never felt like you would get a free ball to hit at all. His variations, his wrong ones, his sliders and his leggies, he was just always competing. So Boom Boom Afridi, how can he not be one of your favourite players? He has taken so many wickets at a great economy rate through such a long career so I love him and he is the man,” he said.
Apart from Afridi, Watson’s list of top T20 bowlers was spearheaded by Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, India’s Jasprit Bumrah at number three while Windies duo of Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine were slotted in at the fourth and fifth spot, respectively.