NEW DELHI :After a disastrous series loss to Sri Lanka at home, Pakistan are to face Australia in three-match T20I and two-match Test series. And to shake things up, chief coach and selector Mishab-ul-Haq has introduced 16-year-old fast-bowler Naseem Shah in the squad who has the potential to wreak havoc on bowlers’ friendly conditions.
Naseem has been named in Pakistan’s squad for Test series beginning on November 21 at the Gabba. With just five first-class appearances so far and still to complete his schooling, Shah is able to generate speed and has the ability to swing the ball late.
Speaking about the teenager’s selection, Misbah told the media that Australia’s renowned batter-friendly wickets could work in Shah’s favour.
“We are looking forward to him bowling in Australian conditions, which will give him some assistance with pace and bounce,” Misbah told reporters.
A video of Naseem’s bowling
“Everyone is excited to get him in the team also and see how he bowls in Australia. It will help that he can bowl in good areas. He can bowl really well with the new and old ball. He is doing that in first-class already. We are looking forward to him putting the ball in the right areas at that pace, it could be a surprise packet,” Misbah was quoted as saying by http://www.cricket.com.au.
Pakistan have never won a Test series in Australia in over six decades and a Misbah-captained team that last toured in 2016-17 was whitewashed 3-0. While Pakistan have long been described as unpredictable given their performances in all formats, Misbah said he was seeking more consistency from his team and hoped the inclusion of Shah could change the team’s fortunes.
The right-arm fast bowler has a unique action and is able to generate pace. Despite just five first-class matches since his debut for Lahore last September, he has taken 17 wickets at an average of 18.70.
Shah started playing gully cricket, appeared in U-16 regional trials where he claimed 32 wickets in 8 matches and subsequently cemented his place in Pakistan U-16 team. He played in the Asia Cup Under-19 team and then made his first-class cricket debut in which he took 7 wickets in his second appearance.
Shah, who has said that he idolizes former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond, aspires to bowl like Shoaib Akhtar. And if he makes his debut in Australia he will be the ninth youngest player in Test history and first of his age to feature in a Test on Australian soil.