ISLAMABAD: Former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq believes late legendary spin-wizard Abdul Qadir’s was a magic man saying his googly was unplayable.
“He was my inspiration. I watched him. The thing which made him a magic man was his style of bowling, his run-up, and his expressions,” Saqlain said in a video on his YouTube channel.
Saqlain said Qadir’s googly was unplayable. “His googly was very dangerous and his way of bowling was unique,” he said.
Qadir had bagged 236 wickets in Tests while 132 in ODIs. He also captained Pakistan in five Test matches during 1987–88 and 1988–89.
Next in Saqlain’s list of spinners was Australian Shane Warne. Saqlain said the thing he liked about him was his body language. “The way he used to stand and look at the batsman while waving the ball in the air looked like as if he was trapping the batsmen,” he said and added Warne was very consistent and full of power.
Warne was the third-highest five-wicket haul taker in the international arena after Muttiah Muralitharan and Richard Hadlee. He has taken 37 Test fifers and single ODI fifer, along with 10 Test ten-wicket hauls.
Saqlain said Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan was a spinner who could spin the bowl on any kind of pitch. “His facial expression and he used to enjoy bowling. He was very consistent and had a consistent turn in his bowling,” he said.
Muralitharan has the most Test wickets (800) and ODI wickets (534 wickets). He also has the highest number of international wickets in Tests, ODIs, and T20s combined (1347 wickets).
Saqlain put Indian Anil Kumble on No 4 saying he neither had too much turn nor he had an outstanding googly. “But had very good control from wicket to wicket and was lethal on turning track,” he said and added Kumble was very dangerous on slow and low track and had a very good bounce on a turning track.
Kumble had bagged 619 wickets in 132 Tests and 337 in 271 ODIs. He also has the record of most Test wickets (619) by Indian and third in the world.
Saqlain said former Pakistani spinner Mushtaq Ahmed was once ranked No 1 in the Test ranking at a time when there was Warne, Kumble, Muralitharan, and me. “He took many wickets in county enjoyed bowling,” he said.
In an international career that spanned from 1990 until 2003, Mushtaq claimed 185 wickets in Test cricket and 161 in ODIs.
The last Saqlain named in the list was Pakistani Saeed Ajmal. “I have worked with him as a coach. He was a great and quick learner and was very strong-minded. He was a team man and always used to think out of the box,” he said.
He has a great heart and was mentally very tough. “He also ruled in the cricket rankings and won matches for Pakistan single-handedly. He was a game-changer and match-winner,” he said.
Ajmal took 178 wickets in 35 Tests while attained 184 wickets in 113 ODIs.