PAK vs ENG | Mark Wood is absolutely wrong if he thinks he can't bowl over 155 kph, asserts Shoaib Akhtar
Mark Wood has scalped 82 wickets in 26 Tests for England|
Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on Mark Wood ahead of the second Test, both on a personal and professional level. He went on to offer his observations about Wood's bowling style and offered technical advice to the pacer borne through experience if he wants to gear up his speed even further.
England will be seeking to wrap up the Test series in style when they take on Pakistan in Multan in the second Test beginning December 9. After a commanding success in the first game, the side will be further bolstered for the upcoming encounter with Mark Wood expected to return from injury and spearhead the bowling attack. The pacer has been out of action since the WorldT20 semi-final last month Down Under and might prove to be key with his express pace on what is expected to be another flat track at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
Former Pakistan quick Shoaib Akhtar had kind words to offer for his rival, just two days ahead of the clash.
"Mark Wood, a great looking guy and a lovely human being with a beautiful action, that’s what I like to see!” he was quoted saying by The Telegraph Cricket.
Akhtar represented the Men in Green in 224 games, scalping a remarkable 441 wickets. What stood out the most about the pacer was his ability to generate speed in the air and is one of only three cricketers in history to have been recorded breaking the 100 mph mark. Akhtar's fastest delivery was clocked at 161.3 kph which remains a record to this date. However, Wood isn't much far behind having touched the 155 mark before and the Pakistani legend believes the English quick is more than capable of crossing the famous barrier.
“A couple of things I have noticed. He loses his follow-through. Thank god he shortened his run-up. He lands on the left foot, and you see often he collapses on the pitch because he cannot control the follow-through," Akhat observed.
“If he is thinking that he cannot bowl more than 155, he is absolutely wrong there! If he wants to bowl 100mph, he needs to start pulling trucks. I made the pitches about 26 yards. I made a ball about four times heavier than normal. I trained by doing a lot of weights, and riding the bicycle with weights on it. I would do about 1000 reps," he further revealed.
Wood's career, however, has been plagued by injuries much like Akhtar who had to hang his boots prematurely owing to persistent issues with his body.
“I noticed I developed muscles that I had never been able to touch before. Little did I know that I was losing my knees, bones and cartilage at the same time. Whoever can bowl 150kph has 10ks in reserve, with the right preparation and the right recuperation,” the Pakistani pacer concluded on the matter.