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Mahela is the best captain - Akram

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Former Pakistani skipper and a legendary pace bowler, Wasim Akram hailed Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene as the best captain in the world.

After closely observing Mahela’s captaincy tactics during the recently concluded triangular Commonwealth Bank series, the legendary Pakistan pacer said that he is a leader any country would love to have. Akram is eager to see how the hard-hitting Lankan opener will lead the side in sub-continent conditions.

"All three are capable men but right now, Mahela is the best captain in the world,” said Wasim Akram during a media encounter ahead of the Asia Cup opener between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Mirpur.

“Mahela's captaincy in the CB Series was astute and he is a leader any country would love to have. I want to see how he leads the Lankans in Asia Cup,” the former pace bowling veteran added further.

Mahela Jayawardene was reappointed as the Sri Lanka captain ahead of the Commonwealth Bank series last month, after Tillakaratne Dilshan stepped down in January following the team’s consistent poor performance.

The 45-year-old former Pakistan skipper, who played 104 Tests and 356 ODIs during an international career spanning 18-years between 1985 and 2003, was all praise for Mahela Jayawardene’s attacking field placement and called him a born leader.

"In ODIs, if you want to take wickets, then you have to put pressure on the opposition and that's Mahela's beauty,” said Akram. “He knows where to deploy his fielders and when to attack. He is natural leader who has matured with time," he added further.

Comparing the captaincy of Jayawardene with his Indian counterpart, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the legendary Pakistan pacer said that it is difficult for Dhoni to guide his fast bowlers all the time from behind the wickets as compared to Jayawardene who fields at the mid-on or mid-off position.

"Mahela and Dhoni are different captains. Dhoni is a wicketkeeper it is difficult for him to guide the fast bowlers all the time,” said Wasim Akram. “Mahela is very attacking in nature and is always looking for breakthroughs," he added further.

Both Sri Lanka and India will open up their Asia Cup campaign playing each other at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. (Agencies)

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