Akram bowls yorker at Dhoni's dispirited leadership

Akram bowls yorker at Dhoni's dispirited leadership

"I think body language of the Indians in this tournament wasn't good at all. I remember when Harbhajan came on to bowl and start conceding runs behind the wicket. If I was Dhoni I would have had a word with him, telling him I don't mind if you are hit through the covers but not (bowl) this line," Akram said. Despite the seven-wicket victory over the West Indies on Wednesday, India's campaign in the eight-nation tournament ended after Australia pipped Pakistan by two wickets in another Group A thriller earlier in the day.

Akram, far from being amused with the performance of Indian bowlers, also cited example of legendary Imran Khan, recalling how he used to mentor the pacers at the time of difficulty. "I have seen this happen to a lot of Indian fast bowlers. Initially all of them, Munaf (Patel), RP Singh, Irfan (Pathan) and Ishant (Sharma) appear to bowl 140kmph upwards but within a year their pace drops to in the 130s and 120s. "When this happens, I am reminded of what my skipper and mentor Imran Khan used to tell me. He used to ask me to just bowl fast without worrying too much about line and length, no balls and wide," Akram said.

A classic case was of Irfan, who in his days of trouble, appeared to seek advice from too many people, feels the legendary pacer. "It can become an issue if you approach too many people for advice. It's important you speak to people who have seen it and done it all but not to everyone," said Akram. Asked about the wicket on which India registered a consolation win over the West Indies, Akram said, "What do you think the wicket is if Dhoni gets a wicket?" On Pakistan's performance in the Champions Trophy, Akram feels that Younus Khan's men have a very good chance to enter the final, provided which wicket they will play on.

"There are two wickets at the Wanderers. One good and one bad. If they play on good wicket, Pakistan stands a good chance for they have more variety in their attack. If they play on a bad wicket, then it's anybody's game," he said. Pakistan will take on New Zealand in the second semifinal on October 3 in Johannesburg. However, Akram expressed his admiration for India's senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar and felt the Mumbai cricketer still has a lot to offer. "I am not surprised that he is still carrying on, having spent two decades in international field. You can last that long if you have energy and passion. Tendulkar still has that passion for the game," Akram said.

While sharing the moment of his induction in the ICC's Hall of Fame, Akram remembered the 1999 Test against India where Tendulkar stood like a wall between Pakistan and the victory. "During the course of that final innings of the Test, Tendulkar showed why the Indian team revolved around him. We knew if we could get him, we would win the Test. And so it happened," he said.

Akram also rated former Australian Adam Gilchrist as the best batsman he had ever bowled to in his career. "He could punch you both sides of the wicket, could cut, hook or pull and was just impossible to bowl to. He was just very quick on his feet," Akram said.