Pakistan’s teen bowling sensation Naseem Shah became the ninth youngest debutante in men’s Test cricket and the youngest ever on Australian soil as the 16-year-old played the opening Test in Gabba.
He was faced with a challenge on the very first ball he faced in international cricket as he walked out to bat on Mitchell Starc’s hat-trick ball. He deflected the ball away but didn’t take a run. He made seven runs off 12 balls with one boundary before his stay was eventually ended by Starc off a caught and bowled
But the real test for the teenager will be when he has to bowl on Friday. Pakistan were all out for 240 just before stumps. Shah made the grade for the first Test after impressing with an eight-over spell against Australia A in Perth.
The 16-year-old has only played seven first-class games and while selectors clearly like what they see, how he copes in the heat of battle against world-class batsmen such as Steve Smith and David Warner remains to be seen.
Only handful of players have made their debut aged 16, including Sachin Tendulkar who went on to become an Indian batting legend.
The youngest Test player is listed by Cricinfo as Pakistan’s Hasan Raza, who was 14 on his 1996 debut, though his date of birth was later disputed. Pakistan have a history of blooding promising players early, accounting for six of the 10 youngest male players to play Test matches while Bangladesh has three and Tendulkar is the lone Indian.
Youngest Test debutantes
|Hasan Raza||14y 227d||Pakistan||Zimbabwe||Faisalabad||24 Oct 1996|
|Mushtaq Mohammad||15y 124d||Pakistan||West Indies||Lahore||26 Mar 1959|
|Mohammad Sharif||15y 128d||Bangladesh||Zimbabwe||Bulawayo||19 Apr 2001|
|Aaqib Javed||16y 189d||Pakistan||New Zealand||Wellington||10 Feb 1989|
|SR Tendulkar||16y 205d||India||Pakistan||Karachi||15 Nov 1989|
|Aftab Baloch||16y 221d||Pakistan||New Zealand||Dhaka||8 Nov 1969|
|Talha Jubair||16y 223d||Bangladesh||Sri Lanka||Colombo (PSS)||21 Jul 2002|
|Nasim-ul-Ghani||16y 248d||Pakistan||West Indies||Bridgetown||17 Jan 1958|
|Naseem Shah||16y 279d||Pakistan||Australia||Brisbane||21 Nov 2019|
|Enamul Haque jnr||16y 320d||Bangladesh||England||Dhaka||21 Oct 2003|
|Khalid Hasan||16y 352d||Pakistan||England||Nottingham||1 Jul 1954|
|Zahid Fazal||17y 5d||Pakistan||West Indies||Karachi||15 Nov 1990|
|Mohammad Ashraful||17y 61d||Bangladesh||Sri Lanka||Colombo (SSC)||6 Sep 2001|
|Ata-ur-Rehman||17y 68d||Pakistan||England||Birmingham||4 Jun 1992|
|Nazmul Hossain||17y 73d||Bangladesh||India||Chattogram||17 Dec 2004|
|PP Chawla||17y 75d||India||England||Mohali||9 Mar 2006|
|Imran Nazir||17y 78d||Pakistan||Sri Lanka||Lahore||4 Mar 1999|
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman||17y 78d||Afghanistan||India||Bengaluru||14 Jun 2018|
|Mohammad Amir||17y 82d||Pakistan||Sri Lanka||Galle||4 Jul 2009|
With AFP Inputs