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AB de Villiers picks Asif among top-five bowlers he faced

Last year, Hashim Amla had also picked Pakistan seamer as one of the best he faced

PHOTO: Cricket Australia/AFP

South African batsman AB de Villiers has picked Pakistan seamer Mohammad Asif as one of the five best bowlers he has faced during his career.

While speaking to cricket.com.au, the 35-year-old picked the bowlers that caused him the most trouble as a batsman.

“Some seam bowlers, Mohammad Asif from Pakistan, he’s very similar to Hazlewood once again, and Hazlewood also makes in the list and Pat Cummins as well,” said De Villiers. “Obviously, Warnie [Warne], purely intimidation factor, I think he was a good bowler, but he wasn’t unplayable. I always felt comfortable and saw the ball nicely, felt good on the bat, but between him and Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] behind the stumps, it was really intimidating for a 22-year-old to find his feet.”

“I think Broady, Stuart Broad. Broad has come to the party in the last five years. I didn’t rate him early on, but he’s become a really good bowler. He’s sort of got my number over the last couple of series we’ve played. I’ve had these numbers a few times as well, so it’s not just the one-sided thing luckily,” he added.

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Last year, De Villiers former South African teammate Hashim Amla had also expressed similar opinion about Asif in an interview.

“Mohammad Asif is the best one, I know he got banned for spot-fixing but at that stage, he was the best fast bowler I had faced,” Amla said. “I played against Asif in South Africa and played against him in Pakistan in 2007 and if he landed the ball on the fourth stump, I did not know if it was nipping away or nipping in, it tested your defence really to the maximum.”

“Funnily enough, as years have gone by, meeting other cricketers from around the world and chatting with them, many of the guys have said the same thing. Mohammad Asif was a magician with the ball,” he added.