Cricket has changed constantly over the years and evolved from just one format into how-many-ever-that-exist these days. But as much as the sport witnesses changes, there is one thing that will not change: Pakistan producing one exciting fast bowler after another.
The latest in the long list of tearaway quicks from Pakistan’s pace-is-pace factory is 16-year-old Naseem Shah. The youngster was touted as an exciting prospect for the future after his recent performances in the Pakistan domestic circuit, but the wait for it won’t be much longer if he is rewarded a place in the playing XI for Pakistan after his eye-catching spells in the match against Australia XI at Perth Stadium.
The first warm-up match ended in a draw on Wednesday with Pakistan making a strong impression with the pink ball, none more so than Shah.
Shah did not bowl in the first innings, where Imran Khan picked up a five-for.
The youngster was in the news earlier this week as well. Having lost his mother, the youngster could not make it back in time for her funeral and chose to stay on and play in the warm-up match. Two days after the death of his mother, Naseem delivered a bruising display of fast bowling at Perth Stadium that culminated in the teenager dismissing Marcus Harris (20) with a fearsome bouncer that caught the left-hander’s edge.
Boasting a technique that reminds one of Shane Bond and impressive pace, the teenage pacer finished with figures of 1-21 in the match. While that does not seem sensational at first look, clippings of how he troubled the Aussie batsmen started going viral during the match.
The two Tests will be in Brisbane (Nov 21-25) and Adelaide (Nov 29-Dec 03).
The Test pace attack – hampered by the untimely retirement of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz earlier this year – includes 16-year-old Shah and 19-year-old Musa Khan who have played just five and seven first-class matches respectively. Going by his impressive skillset, it won’t be long before Shah earns his first Test cap.