Unpredictability is as asset for a fast-bowler: the sudden rearing of a bouncer from the good-length spot, say, or a delivery that swings in and then straightens. Shoaib Akhtar had those in plenty, but in his avatar as an expert, comes across as a dispenser of reason—note his calling out of former teammates for mistreating Danish Kaneria. His sudden assertion, then, that had he been PM, he “will eat grass”, but still increase the army’s budget (ostensibly to get parity with India), has to be seen as an eruption of his hot onfield antics. Did uniformed Rawalpindi applaud the Pindi Express on this echo of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto? But, in his statement that he turned down a county stint so as to fight the Kargil War, Shoaib oversteps his mark. We want a free hit.