New Delhi: Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar feels Rohit Sharma's Test career will only grow after his centuries in both the innings of his debut Test match as an opener while pacer Mohammed Shami can become the king of reverse swing.
Akhtar also lamented that no Pakistani pacer has sought his advice while Indians like Shami have kept in touch with him regarding fast bowling.
"Rohit Sharma is hitting hundred after hundred and I have been saying that Rohit should be in the Indian Test team. From here, he will become a great Test player. Rohit the Test batsman will only grow," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
Akhtar said that he had once advised Shami, who played a major role in India's big win over South Africa in the first Test, to try and become a tearaway pacer while also using the reverse swing as a lethal arsenal.
"After India's (50-over) World Cup disappointment, Shami called me up one day and said he was feeling sad that he could not do well for India. I told him not to lose heart but maintain fitness. The home series is coming and you will do well I said."
"I told Shami that I want him to become a tearaway pacer, running through batting line-ups. He has seam and swing, besides that he has reverse swing which very few bowlers in the subcontinent have. I told him you can become the king of reverse swing," said Akhtar.
"Now, you see what he has done, he has got wickets from a docile pitch (in Visakhapatnam). I am very happy for him," said the 44-year-old who took 178 wickets from 46 Tests between 1997 and 2007.
He said he was ready to give advice to the Pakistani pacers but nobody is asking for his help.
"Sadly, our Pakistani fast bowlers don't ask me how they can improve their bowling but the Indian bowlers like Shami are doing that. It is a sad scenario as far as my country is concerned."
He also said that Virat Kohli is a "bowlers' captain".
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"I have no comment to make on either. We understood what happened on the field and people on the outside don't know exact details of what goes on on the field," he said in the post-match press conference in Cape Town on Friday.
There’s no easy way of saying it. It’s time to thank Pujara and Rahane for their services and let them go.
Kagiso Rabada said South African batters will have to dig deep to win the series-deciding third Test.