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Nazir was more talented than Sehwag, but he didn’t have the brain – Akhtar

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Shoaib Akhtar, the one-time express paceman, has said his former Pakistan team-mate Imran Nazir was a more talented batsman than Virender Sehwag, but said he didn’t have the brains that his Indian counterpart did.

Nazir played eight Tests, 79 ODIs and 25 T20Is for Pakistan, after making his debut in a Test against Sri Lanka in 1999. However, the impression lingers that he didn’t make the most of his gifts, particularly when compared to Sehwag, who also made his India debut in 1999 in an ODI, but went on to conquer all formats and change perceptions of what Test openers can do in a glorious career.

Akhtar, however, believes as far as talent is considered, Nazir had more of it than Sehwag. “I don’t think Imran Nazir had the brain that Sehwag had. I don’t think Sehwag had the talent that Imran Nazir had,” the former paceman was quoted as saying on a TV show by Cricket Pakistan.

Akthar, however, lays the blame for that on the Pakistan management, saying they didn’t manage Nazir well. “There is no comparison with regards to talent,” said Akhtar. “We tried to contain him a little.

“When he hit a brutal hundred against India in a match, I asked them to play Imran Nazir consistently but they didn’t listen,” he went on. “It is unfortunate that we do not know how to take care of our brands.

“We could have had a player better than Virender Sehwag in Imran Nazir. He had all the shots while also being a good fielder. We could have utilised him brilliantly, but we just couldn’t.”

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