New Delhi, Oct 9: Projecting himself as a perfect team man, Pakistan's tearaway pacer Shoaib Akhtar today said he prefers contributing to the team's success, rather than setting personal milestones in fast bowling.
One of the fastest contemporary bowlers — along with Australia's Brett Lee and New Zealand's Shane Bond — Shoaib is considered by some as a selfish bowler, never ready to compromise on his speed or a prolonged run-up even for the team's cause.
The speedster, however, sang a different tune today and said, "I don't aim for bowling 150 or 160 kmph now. I would rather want to win matches for Pakistan by whatever way.
"If my fast bowling wins matches, that is fine. If putting the ball in right places, instead of bowling really quick, wins matches that is even better," the 31-year-old "Rawalpindi Express" said at a media interaction here.
"My goal is to contribute in my country's win, whether I get five wickets or not," he explained.
Shoaib also contradicted current belief of top players and coaches that one-day cricket has become more of a batsman's game.
"Who says one-day cricket has become batters game? It is still the bowlers' game, bowlers win matches," he said, adding that the emergence of fast bowlers like himself, Lee and Bond are good for cricket as spectators love fast bowling and knocking down of wickets by sheer pace.
"I met Shane in the morning and told him that it is good for cricket that fast bowlers are doing well," Shoaib said when told that he, Lee and Bond are playing together for the first time in a major tournament in the Champions Trophy.
He said he sometimes got frustated at missing matches due to injury but said present day cricketers would have to take such things in their strides.
"It is frustating sometimes when you prepare for a match and then ruled out because of injury and watch the match on television," he said.
"But it happens to many cricketers. It's difficult to play the whole year and remained fit especially for fast bowlers," Shoaib added.