Chennai: Former Pakistan batsman Sadiq Mohammad on Sunday picked up Indian medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for special praise and said that the Uttar Pradesh bowler has the quality to dismiss any batsman in the world.
Brother of legendary cricketers Hanif and Mushtaq, Sadiq was a classy left-handed batsman who represented the national team for 11 years in 41 Test matches. On Sunday, he was in Chennai as a goodwill ambassador of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"Like Pakistan, India, too, have some good fast bowlers," said Sadiq after watching Kumar dismissing two Pakistan batsmen. "In fact, both Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are fine bowlers… Kumar can bowl both ways. He can get any batsman in the world out," said Sadiq.
It was a huge compliment for 22-year-old Kumar, especially when it came from a batsman who had batted against the greats like Andy Roberts, Dennis Lillie and Jeff Thompson. West Indian Roberts, Sadiq said, was the toughest bowler he had faced.
"Roberts was a great bowler… The best thing about him was that he made the ball hit the bat every time he bowled. When I first played Lillie, I did not find him too dangerous, though he was very fast. But when I faced him again in 1976, he was a hugely improved bowler. Apart from pace, he also had a deadly line and length," said Sadiq.
Sadiq also claimed that he was the first batsman in the world to wear a helmet. "I did it in Edgbaston, against England… Everyone around there laughed at me. One even suggested that I should be presented with a bike too. But later, all batsmen started wearing helmets.
"There was no helmet when we started playing, not even while fielding… We got hit, but learned to live the hard way. In 1975, in Karachi, I was hit on the head by Vanburn Holder when fielding at close. I played with a swollen head and scored 47.
"Till this day, I get a shiver at least once every night because of that injury I had. But we never ran away from the field," said Sadiq. He also recalled how Kapil Dev hit him on the helmet during India's tour of Pakistan.