Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram said on Thursday that the Indian fast bowlers - Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah - can be lethal during India's tour of England if Shami corrects his run-up and Bumrah devotes some time to county cricket. Akram further added that the Indian fast bowlers have gained confidence unlike the teams of the earlier era. "Shami is a good bowler but sometimes I feel he is a bit laid back. As a fast bowler, irrespective of the match situation, he should just sprint in and try to hurry the batsmen, who have a front foot trigger movement," Akram told PTI.
Talking about Shami's technical aspects and his erratic strides, Akram said, "During his run-up, Shami, at times, tends to take small strides before his final load up to the crease. Now when he is in rhythm, his strides are correct and equally measured but the moment he gets a bit wayward, his strides get smaller. It should always be the opposite."
Akram said smaller strides result in a loss of pace.
"When the length of the stride decreases, a person's bowling action doesn't get completed. The force that is generated from the back goes missing and one loses out on a lot of pace," said Akram, who picked 414 Test and a whopping 502 ODI wickets during his 19-year international career.
Shami has had a history of a dodgy knee and Akram agreed that it indeed was a genuine concern.
"That will be an issue with Shami. If you look at Shoaib Akhtar, he struggled with a dodgy knee. I suppose he has to work on the lower body muscles," Akram remarked.
"He (Shami) is a strong lad and has played a fair amount of international cricket to know how he should be working on his body, so he can play for India for at least 10 years," Akram asserted.
Michael Holding recently commented that Bumrah is unlikely to be a big success in England due to his hit-the-deck action but Akram feels that it is something that can be worked upon.
"I agree with Mike that you can't hit the deck on English surfaces but that would only come with experience. Look the BCCI doesn't allow the Indian boys (main international stars) to play county cricket.
"If Bumrah plays at least a month of county every year, trust me, he will be a better bowler. But then Indian board has to tell Bumrah that forego a month's IPL and play county cricket," said Akram, who attributes his transformation from a raw talent to a world beater to the days he had spent as a pro with Lancashire.
However, the former Pakistan speedster agrees that Bumrah will get better with more experience.
"He has had a good start to his Test career after starting off as a T20 specialist. So it's a kind of change in mindset that is slowly happening for him. If people are talking about not having an outswinger, I won't be bothered much.
"But if Bumrah can learn how to straighten the ball after pitching coming from wide off the crease, more often than not, it will be his wicket-taking delivery. He just needs to use a bit of wrists for that," Akram said.
For him, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the best Indian fast bowler on view.
"Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the most impressive pacer in South Africa as far as my assessment goes. He was getting the ball to swing both ways. And with increased pace now, he has become all the more effective," Akram said.
Another factor that would work for India during the August tour, according to Akram, is that Dukes will be used in England.
"This Indian pace attack has potential to do well in England. They were very impressive in South Africa with the kookaburra which is a difficult ball to bowl with so Dukes which does a lot after pitching will be easier for them," he concluded.