Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has revealed that legendary left-handed batsman Brian Lara found it challenging while facing his off-spin. Hafeez, who is widely popular for his batting, also has a quality of bowling outstanding off-breaks through which he has troubled lots of batsmen over the years.
Lara, in his glorious career, had smashed many fabulous bowlers around the world across formats. How demolishing Lara was in his playing days can be understood with the fact that Test cricket’s highest wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan has many times rated Lara to be the toughest batsman he played against. Even the second-highest wicket-taker in the longest format, Shane Warne, has also showered praiseworthy comments on Lara.
However, Hafeez said that the great West Indies batsman himself admitted that he had struggled batting against him.
“Left-handers have always had difficulty facing me. However, I have bowled well to right-handers as well. If you look at my economy rate, it’s the same against both. I dismissed one of my favourite batsmen, Brian Lara, as well,” Hafeez told Geo News.
“He [Lara] also admitted that he had difficulty batting against me. He was a world-class batsman, and there are very few batsmen who played spinners as well as Lara,” Hafeez added.
Hafeez said that his talent of bowling handy overs in the middle has really helped him in his international career, especially when he struggled with the willow.
“In my career, my bowling has supported me a lot. If I was not able to perform with the bat in some match, I used to make up for it with my bowling. I would like to continue my success against left-handers, which is a God-gifted talent, till I am playing cricket,” the 39-year-old added further.
During the chat, Hafeez also articulated his keenness to play T20 World Cup even if it is suspended to the next year. Hafeez stated that he is constantly working on his fitness in order to keep himself in the contenders’ list for selection. The right-hander said that he wants to end his career with ‘grace and respect’.
“I want to retire from international cricket after playing the next T20 World Cup. I hope I am able to end my career with grace and respect. I am keeping myself fit, and my performances have been up to the mark in recent years. So If I am fulfilling all requirements of representing the national side, then I am available for selection, even if the event is shifted to next year,” concluded Hafeez.
The Sargodha-born all-rounder has taken 53 wickets in Test cricket after featuring in 55 games, while in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), he has 139 scalps to his name in 218 matches. When it comes to T20 Internationals (T20Is), Hafeez has bagged 54 wickets in 91 games.