16-year-old Naseem Shah has been racking up headlines one after the other ever since he was named in Pakistan’s touring party for Test series against Australia. The right-handed fast bowler has been flaring up headlines than to his precocious pace and action which has already compared to the former greats and, sometimes, also for the fact that he is just ‘sixteen’ years old.
Shah made an impressive start in a practice game leading into the series but couldn’t repeat the same exploits when it came to his Test match debut at the Gabba. The right-handed teenage prodigy bowled just 20 overs which included a wicket of David Warner but was benched from the next game following an injury.
Recently, Naseem Shah was named in Pakistan’s U19 2020 World Cup squad but controversy galore when the teenage fast bowler was also included in the squad for the senior side’s two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. But, according to the reports, Shah’s name could be removed from the U19 squad.
“Two reserve pacers have already been named in the camp and if Naseem is required for national duty he will be replaced as he can’t play for both the senior and junior teams,” a PCB source was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
Naseem Shah has been selected for Test series against Sri Lanka
Meanwhile, the Misbah Ul Haq-led team management will hope to redeem themselves after a horrendous tour of Australia where they were walloped 0-2 in the T20I series and 0-2 in the two-match Test series.
During the series, Pakistan’s bowling came under the scanner. Once revered as their stronger suit, the bowling attack boasting of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Musa Khan, Imran Khan Junior and Yasir Shah could manage just 13 wickets between them during the course of two Test matches- one less than what Mitchell Starc (14 wickets) managed individually in the two Tests.
The selectors have now recalled Usman Khan Shinwari to bolster the pace department and it will be interesting to see whether Naseem Shah is unleashed in the upcoming Test series. And, the manner in which he is used in this series could well clarify as to whether Pakistan decided to stick with him at the senior level or release him to play for the U19 side in the World Cup.
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