Interesting facts about Pakistan's pace sensation Naseem Shah
Pakistan's bowling coach Waqar Younis recently hailed pace sensation, Naseem Shah. He believes the 17-year-old will be a force to reckon with, in the upcoming years. Rightly so, as Naseem seems to have done justice to his selection thus far. His express pace gives him the required edge over others, especially in red-ball cricket. Let's take a look at some interesting facts about him.
Naseem Shah made his Test debut against Australia last year, thereby becoming the ninth-youngest to debut (16 years and 279 days) in the longest format. He also became the youngest Test one to debut in Australia, a record previously held by former Australia captain Ian Craig (17). Notably, Naseem appeared in his maiden Test match a day after his mother's demise.
Naseem started playing gully cricket before he appeared in Under-16 regional trials. He claimed 32 wickets in 8 matches and in due course, cemented his spot in the Pakistan Under-16 team. Naseem then represented Pakistan's Under-19 team in the Asia Cup, following which he earned his maiden First-class call-up. After having played mere 13 First-class games, Naseem burst onto to the international circuit.
Naseem has snapped up 46 wickets from 13 First-class matches at an incredible average of 20.43. In international cricket, he owns 15 scalps at 29.20, including a five-wicket haul. Interestingly, Australia's David Warner was his maiden wicket in international cricket.
Naseem is one of the few fast bowlers in world cricket, who notches over 150 KPH consistently. In the 2019 tour Down Under, he bowled several exuberant spells that comprised a number of fiery bouncers. He also carries the propensity to swing the ball both ways. A calculated run-up coupled with a rather side-on action makes him a feast for the ayes.
Playing mere his third Test in December 2019, Naseem etched his name in the record books. He recorded bowling figures of 31/5 in the first innings of final Test against Sri Lanka. At 16 years and 307 days, he become the youngest pacer to clinch a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He eclipsed fellow Pakistani seamer Mohammad Amir's record (17 years and 257 days).
Over a month later, Naseem became the fourth Pakistani bowler and first since Mohammad Sami (2002) to bag a hat-trick in Test cricket. The former was the youngest to script this record as well. Notably, Naseem ran through Bangladesh's middle order as hosts Pakistan won the Test by an innings and 44 runs. He returned with impressive figures of 26/4.