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Naseem Shah

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Pakistan Bowlers Need To Spend More Time Playing First-Class Cricket, Says Salman Butt

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has lashed out at the current Pakistani bowlers, stating that they need to spend more time in first-class cricket to sharpen their skills. He highlighted the inefficiency of the young bowlers who, according to him, are only focusing on speeding up and not giving any importance to enhancing their skillset.


Salman Butt: Bowlers Need To Spend More Time Playing First Class Cricket

During a conversation on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt opined that lack of first-class experience has been the reason for their below-par performance.

“Bowling at 140 kmph makes no impact if you don’t bowl at proper line and length. The batsmen love playing these types of half-volleys. They only need to direct the ball towards the boundary.

“Pace will help you only if you know how to swing and bowl at the correct line and length. The bowlers need to spend more time playing first-class cricket; not at the gym working on their legs. You’ll become an athlete, not a bowler. It is just like becoming a doctor without MBBS,” said Salman Butt.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

According to the former Pakistan skipper, the current Pakistan bowlers only focus on breaching the 140 kmph mark and not on swing, line, and length. Hence, Salman Butt believed that they could become good athletes but not good fast bowlers.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt gave his views on the shortcomings of a few Pakistani fast bowlers in PSL 2021 despite the improved facilities in the National High-Performance Center.

Salman Butt: Azam Khan Needs To Perform

The former skipper also spoke about young wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan who came under the limelight after being named in the Pakistan national squad. A lot has been spoken about his fitness and Salman Butt believes that the youngster needs to perform well to stay away from criticism.

“Azam Khan needs to perform. He played a couple of good knocks in PSL, but there were many discussions about his fitness. So, every time he fails or misfields, these people will question his fitness. The only way out of all this is to keep performing,” Butt said.

Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad.
Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad. © Getty

Pakistan has recalled pacer Naseem Shah for the Test series against the West Indies. Meanwhile, Azam Khan, who is an uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators participating in PSL, has been picked in the T20I set-up that will play against England and the West Indies.

Azam Khan, who scored at a strike rate of over 144 for Gladiators, makes it to the T20I squad. Azam Khan has notched up 743 runs at an impressive strike rate of 157.41 in his T20 career so far. Salman Butt opined that people will always question Azam Khan’s place in the playing XI because of his fitness, and the only way the stumper could shut their mouths was by performing well.


Pakistan Recalled Mohammad Abbas And Naseem Shah For Tests And Names Azam Khan In T20Is

Pakistan has recalled pacers – Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah – for the Test series against the West Indies. Meanwhile, Azam Khan, who is an uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators participating in PSL, has been picked in the T20I set-up that will play against England and the West Indies. The T20I squad also includes veteran all-rounder Imad Wasim.

Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah were dropped from the Test squad after the Test series in New Zealand, with the duo averaging 45 and 73 respectively.

Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad.
Azam Khan, the uncapped hard-hitting batsman from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad. © Getty

Pakistan Has Recalled Mohammad Abbas And Naseem Shah And Picked Hard-Hitting Batsman Azam Khan

However, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas had a successful time in the West Indies in 2017 picking up 15 wickets. He has also bagged 27 wickets in the County Championship in England this season.

“We have remained consistent in our selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while. This is an extremely important and critical tour for Pakistan as we will be playing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against England as well as the T20Is against England and the West Indies as part of our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Jamaica Test will count towards the ICC World Test Championship,” Muhammad Wasim, chief selector, said.

“As such, keeping in view the above and in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, we have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges,” he added.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who missed the Test series versus Zimbabwe because of a knee injury, also returns to the Test set-up. Yasir Shah’s inclusion though is subject to him recovering completely from the knee injury.

“Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE and he enjoys an excellent record there. The return of these four players meant we had to leave some players, which is never an easy decision. But we have collectively opted for what was in the best interest of the side, taking into consideration the opponents and the requirement of the formats on the upcoming tours,” Wasim noted.

“Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to clearing his fitness test. He was sidelined due to a knee injury after the second Test against South Africa earlier this year and was expected to reclaim complete fitness for the West Indies tour. It, however, has not been the case, but we remain hopeful that he will complete his rehabilitation before the departure,” he added.

Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have returned to Pakistan's Test squad Getty Images
Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas have returned to Pakistan’s Test squad Getty Images

Nauman Ali, a left-arm spinner, who has made a successful start to his Test career, retains his place in the Test set-up. Leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood and off-spinner Sajid Khan have also been retained for the two Tests to be played in Jamaica.

On the other hand, Azam Khan, who scored at a strike rate of over 144 for Gladiators, makes it to the T20I squad. Azam Khan has notched up 743 runs at an impressive strike rate of 157.41 in his T20 career so far. Imad Wasim, who hasn’t played a T20I since December last year, has also been selected.

Pakistan Has Included Saud Shakeel In ODI And Test Squad

Pakistan is also set to play three ODIs against England in July. For that series, Pakistan’s selectors have included uncapped batsman Saud Shakeel. Saud Shakeel, who is a prolific run-getter in Pakistan’s domestic cricket, missed out on the twin tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe due to a Grade-1 quadriceps tear. Incidentally, he also makes it into the Test squad.

Haris Sohail. — Photo courtesy of Haris Sohail's Twitter handle
Haris Sohail. — Photo courtesy of Haris Sohail’s Twitter handle

The experienced batsman, Haris Sohail, also finds a place in the ODI squad. Meanwhile, Tabish Khan and Salman Ali Agha have been dropped from the 21-man squad, though Salman Ali Agha is part of the ODI squad for England.

“The side since the home series against South Africa has maintained an upward movement, but still there are a few loose ends that we would like to close by the end of the England and West Indies tours so that there is absolute clarity on our compositions for the post-West Indies tour engagements. I strongly believe the changes will plug those gaps and will put us in a strong position in our endeavors to feature in the top three across all formats by the end of 2023.”

Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20Is in England from 8-20 July, before taking on West Indies in five T20Is that will be followed by two Tests.


ODIs: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Usman Qadir

T20Is: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, and Usman Qadir.

Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness) and Zahid Mahmood.


Naseem Shah Re-enters PSL 2021 Bio Bubble After PCB’s U-Turn

Naseem Shah, Pakistan pacer is reportedly going to re-enter PSL 2021 bio-bubble despite the Covid-19 protocol breach. Naseem Shah was released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last week after he was found guilty of flouting the norms set by the board.

As per reports, after a meeting between PCB and PSL franchises, a compromise has been reached, thus paving the way for Naseem Shah’s return for the remainder of the T20 tournament which is to be held in UAE.

File Photo of Naseem Shah in action for Quetta Gladiators in PSL.(Twitter)
File Photo of Naseem Shah in action for Quetta Gladiators in PSL. (Twitter)

Naseem Shah’ Negative PCR Test Report Was Conducted On May 18 Contrary To PCB’s Protocols To Assemble At Hotel By May 24 With Negative Report Not Older Than 48 Hours

As per PCB’s covid-19 protocols, all players were asked to assemble at the team hotels by May 24 along with negative PCR test reports not older than 48 hours. Naseem Shah, 18, did arrive with negative reports but the test was conducted on May 18. Following the recommendation of an independent medical advisory, he was released.

In order to rejoin his PSL franchise Quetta Gladiators, Naseem Shah will have to be tested negative thrice for covid-19 – once before entering the team hotel. He will then be allowed to board the flight for Abu Dhabi.

A Covid-19 protocol violation nearly cost Naseem Shah his involvement in PSL 2021 Getty Images
A Covid-19 protocol violation nearly cost Naseem Shah his involvement in PSL 2021 Getty Images

Earlier, Babar Hamid, the commercial director and head of PSL, had said PCB isn’t happy about the turn of events leading to the release of Naseem Shah from the bubble.

“The PCB doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event but if we will ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols,” Hamid had said.

“This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing in the game if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations,” he added.

Naseem Shah is supposed to be the key player for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. He rose to fame with his pace when he made his Test debut against Australia in November 2019 and then grabbed a hat trick in a Test match against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi last year. He has played in nine Test matches and grabbed 20 wickets.

Naseem Shah Has To Clear A Pre Isolation Covid-19 Test And Return Back To Back Negative Tests To Enable To Boars The Flight To Abu Dhabi

After a meeting between the PCB and the PSL franchises, there has indeed been a compromise with Naseem Shah offered a way back to the PSL. All he has to do is clear a pre-isolation Covid-19 test, which will allow him to re-enter the team hotel, and then return back-to-back negative tests, which will give him the green light to board the flight to Abu Dhabi.

Naseem Shah will play a part in PSL 2021
Naseem Shah will play a part in PSL 2021

Naseem Shah’s negative RT-PCR report was from a test conducted on May 18 instead, with the fast bowler placed in isolation on arrival. A three-member panel on the recommendation of the independent Medical Advisory Panel for the PSL later released him from isolation and confirmed his expulsion from the tournament.

Multan Sultans allrounder Shahid Afridi will not play any part in the remainder of the Pakistan Super League after being sidelined with a lower-back injury. The Sultans announced he felt pain in his lower back while training for the resumption of the league, with the doctor advising complete rest.
Shahid Afridi will be replaced by left-arm spinner Asif Afridi, who hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With Shahid Afridi’s absence, the Sultans lose out on one of the competition’s most experienced players.
Afridi has participated in 50 PSL matches throughout his career, with Mohammad Nawaz the only spinner to have taken more wickets than his 44. He has also scored 465 runs at a strike rate in excess of 150 in a career that has also seen him play for Peshawar Zalmi and the Karachi Kings.
Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)
Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)

Mohammad Amir Should Be In Pakistan’s T20I Squad For 2021 World Cup: Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram said that Pakistan needs a bowler of Mohammad Amir’s calibre to guide the young generation. Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram reckons that Mohammad Amir should be included in the national squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup slated later this year.

Back in December 2020, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 29, and the same created a lot of ruckus in the Pakistan cricket fraternity.

Wasim Akram and Mohammad Amir
Wasim Akram and Mohammad Amir. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Wasim Akram Surprised At Experienced Mohammad Amir’s Retirement And Thinks He Should Be In Pakistan’s World T20 Squad

Later he withdrew his retirement, but lashed out, saying that until and unless the current team management is present, he won’t be making a comeback. In the meantime, Wasim Akram who is Pakistan’s all-time highest wicket-taker, criticized the national team management for keeping Mohammad Amir on the sidelines regarding selection in the Pakistan team.

“I am very surprised because Amir is a very experienced bowler and one of the best in the world in T20 cricket. Personally, I think he should be in Pakistan’s World T20 squad,” Akram told a TV channel, reported by Firstpost.

Mohammad Amir Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP
Mohammad Amir Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP

Wasim Akram, also a former Pakistan skipper, was clear cut in saying that pacer Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket was personal and no offence should be taken from the same.

“Other players have done it but no one says anything about them. So why Amir? I think if he is available for other formats he should be playing for Pakistan.”

On 26 July 2019, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. On 17 December 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket. Mohammad Amir played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs and 50 T20Is before announcing retirement. He claimed 259 wickets across formats.

Mohammad Amir has not played for Pakistan since last year when he had a fall out with the Pakistan team head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach, Waqar Younis and has maintained that he will not play for the national team until they remain in charge.

Wasim Akram Feels Experienced Bowlers Like Mohammad Amir Is Needed In T20I World Cup To Advise And Guide Youngsters

Mohammad Amir is a part of the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where Wasim Akram is the director of cricket and the head coach of the team. Wasim Akram said that Pakistan needs a bowler of Mohammad Amir’s calibre to guide the young generation.

“In World Cup events you need experienced bowlers who can also advise and guide the younger bowlers,” Akram feels.

Naseem Shah of Pakistan celebrates after taking his first test wicket, the wicket of David Warner
Naseem Shah of Pakistan celebrates after taking his first test wicket, the wicket of David Warner (Photo by Chris Hyde – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Wasim Akram said that too much fuss is being created over Mohammad Amir’s personal calls.

Speaking on the same, the veteran said, “Other players also take time off for the birth of their child so what is the big deal.”

With the situation in India deteriorating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a chance for the T20 World Cup to be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As per Wasim Akram, Pakistan could have the edge if the mega event takes place in the gulf country.

“We need to have more impact players in the T20 squad, those who can play without fear of failure only then can we do well,” Akram added.

Pakistan defeated South Africa in Tests and T20Is at home earlier this year and then won the T20I and ODI series in the return series before wrapping up the African safari with T20I and Test series wins in Harare. Pakistan has pacers like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Abbas in their ranks.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan Cricket Board Selectors Invited Six Additional Players In Training Camp

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selectors as part of their strategy to keep all the leading performers involved in the system, invited six additional players to participate in the training camp involving the Test players ahead of the Zimbabwe series.

The six players invited are Irfan Ullah Shah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Naseem Shah (Central Punjab), Rohail Nazir (Northern), Sameen Gul (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and Taj Wali (Balochistan), Waqas Maqsood (Central Punjab), informed PCB in a media statement.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). (Photo: Twitter)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Selectors Had Invited 7 Additional Players For Training Camp Before Pakistan’s Departure To South Africa

In the training camp held prior to the side’s departure for Johannesburg, the selectors had invited seven additional players so that the coaches would work on their development.

Pakistan's Naseem Shah (Photo by DAN MULLAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Pakistan’s Naseem Shah (Photo by DAN MULLAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

PCB invited seven additional players including fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Shahnawaz Dahani to join the South Africa-bound pre-departure camp for the men’s national team. The camp, which commenced at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on March 19, was being set for white-ball cricketers for the upcoming three-match ODI and four-match T20I series against South Africa in April.

Amad Butt, Faisal Akram, Khushdil Shah, Muhammad Imran, and Zahid Mahmood are the other five players invited to the camp so that the coaching staff continues to work on their development. Separately, a high-performance training camp for 25 players not involved in the Pakistan Super League was held at the National High-Performance Centre, but it had to be closed due to a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Pakistan To Play 3 T20Is Starting April 21 And 2 Tests Starting April 29 Against Zimbabwe

The Test players’ camp will run under a bio-secure environment from April 11-20 before the 11 players will depart for Harare on April 21 to join other members of the side. The two Tests against Zimbabwe will be played in Harare from April 29 to May 3 and May 7-11. Pakistan will play Zimbabwe in 3 T20Is and 2 Tests.

Harare-bound Test players to attend camp are Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab), Saud Shakeel (Sindh, subject to fitness), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh), Tabish Khan (Sindh) and Zahid Mahmood (Southern Punjab).

Pakistani cricketer Abid Ali | MAHMOUD KHALED / AFP
Pakistani cricketer Abid Ali | MAHMOUD KHALED / AFP

Two changes have been made in the 20-player Test side that defeated South Africa by seven wickets and 95 runs in Karachi and Rawalpindi, respectively.  Kamran Ghulam and Yasir Shah have been replaced by Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.

While white-ball vice-captain Shadab Khan and Mohammed Hafeez returned to the side after missing the South Africa series, Sharjeel Khan has made a comeback to the T20I squad, four years after his 15th and last T20I match. The tour of Zimbabwe is scheduled to follow on from Pakistan’s tour of South Africa. On 28 March 2021, the PCB confirmed the tour itinerary, with all the matches being played behind closed doors in Harare.

Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez. Credits: Getty Images

Pakistan Need System To Groom Cricketers Properly: Mohammad Hafeez

Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan all-rounder has lauded India’s domestic cricket system, saying all players are groomed properly before receiving call-ups to the national team. He further added that his own nation needs a similar system to thrive on the international stage.

Speaking at a media interaction on Wednesday, Mohammad Hafeez attributed India’s series triumph in Australia to their “finished products.”

Mohammad Hafeez,
Mohammad Hafeez. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Mohammad Hafeez: India’s Finished Products Play International Cricket But In Pakistan’s Case Only Talent Plays

India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 despite losing several key players over the course of the series and facing a humiliating defeat in the first Test.

“The reason why India came back from being bowled out for 36 and went on to win the series despite their captain not being available or so many players injured is because their new and young players are groomed properly into finished products. India’s products play international cricket and in Pakistan’s case only the talent does,” Mohammad Hafeez explained.

Ajinkya Rahane.
Ajinkya Rahane. (Image Credit: Getty Images).

The 40-year-old’s comments came in the wake of India securing a historic three-wicket victory at the Gabba. As a result, they became the first visiting team to beat Australia at the venue since 1988. Terming Team India’s triumph “great”, Mohammad Hafeez admitted that he enjoyed the Ajinkya Rahane-led side’s fightback throughout the series.

“I enjoyed it that the team was down in morale but the way they came back and won the series after an amazing recovery is great. As a fan of cricket, we really enjoyed that,” Mohammad Hafeez, who has scored 12,589 runs and taken 246 wickets across 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 99 T20Is, said.

Under Ajinkya Rahane who stood as captain after Virat Kohli headed home on paternity leave, India won the Test series as a bunch of newcomers who were handed debuts in absence of injury-hit players performed excellently. Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar were finds of the tour.

India won at Brisbane and Melbourne after losing 1st Test in Adelaide suffering a horrifical batting collapse in 2nd innings. The win at Brisbane is more creditable as India did not have services of Virat Kohli (homebound), injury-hit Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah.

Mohammad Hafeez: Pakistan Don’t Have System Which Can Make Finished Products

Mohammad Hafeez acknowledged that there is no dearth of talent in Pakistan. However, he was quick to add that a grooming system is required to help the prodigies succeed at the highest level. He was probably alluding to the likes of Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, who all have now slightly faded away after initially bursting onto the international scene.

Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah (Image Credit: Google)

“Unfortunately we don’t have a system which can make finished products which are now essential in modern-day cricket. That is why so many of our young players fail to succeed at the international level. We have to polish the talented youngsters and make them world-class players. In India, their domestic system ensures the talented players are groomed properly. But in Pakistan we don’t go through that process,” the former captain concluded.

Pakistan have struggled for consistency over the last 16 months, winning just two of their last 10 Tests. They lost 5 and 3 were drawn as the team are languishing at 6th place with 166 points in table of World Test Championship. They will next face South Africa in a two-match Test series on home soil. Pakistan could not win against England and New Zealand in Tests and their last win came against minnows Bangladesh which they won by 1 innings and 44 runs.

Mohammad Asif

Current Pakistan Pacers Don’t Have The Flexibility To Bowl 20-25 Overs: Mohammad Asif

Mohammad Asif, former Pakistan pacer said that the current crop of Pakistan pacers haven’t exhibited enough control in line and length and have been guilty of spraying the ball down the leg-side far too often.

The 38-year-old pacer reckons that the current bunch of Pakistan fast bowlers are older than what their age suggests. Mohammad Asif, who last appeared for Pakistan back in 2010, stated that the youngsters who are aged about 20 or more on paper appear 10 years older.

Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif (Image Credit: Google)

Mohammad Asif: Pakistan’s Young Pacers Don’t Have Flexibility To Bowl 20-25 Overs And Don’t Know How To Bend Body

Currently, pacers Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Muhammad Musa Khan are the ones who are in their early or late 20s. Mohammad Asif feels they don’t have the ability to bowl long spells.

Mohammad Asif said that they appear aged and don’t have the flexibility to bowl 20-25 overs while speaking to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal on the latter’s YouTube channel.

“And they are so aged. It is written as 17-18 years on paper, but they are actually 27-28 years old because they don’t have the flexibility to bowl 20-25 overs.”

“They don’t know how to bend the body; they become stiff. They are not able to stand on the field after bowling a 5-6 over spell,” Mohammad Asif stated.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. Credits: ICC

Shaheen Afridi has taken 39 wickets in 12 Tests, Mohammad Musa is yet to pick a wicket in 1 Test he played and Naseem Shah has picked 20 wickets in 8 Tests. Mohammad Hasnain has played 6 ODIs and 10 T20Is.

Mohammad Asif: It Might Have Been 5-6 Years Since A Pacer Took 10 Wickets In A Test Match

Mohammad Asif said that the current pacers had difficulties to pick up wickets at regular intervals and have been found wanting even in seamer-friendly conditions. The 38-year-old quipped that the paces haven’t exhibited enough control while bowling and have sprayed the ball down the leg-side far too often.

“I feel it might have been 5-6 years since a fast bowler took 10 wickets in a match. We used to salivate after seeing the pitches like the ones in New Zealand. There was no question of leaving the ball as a fast bowler. I never used to leave the ball before taking a five-wicket haul,” he stated.

Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“These kids do not have the knowledge. They don’t know how to keep the batsman on the front foot, not give them a single and how to bowl on the wickets. When they try to bowl on the wickets, it goes down the leg-side. They do not have the control,” Mohammad Asif added.

Though Mohammad Asif’s career was short-lived due to his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal at the Lord’s, he picked 106 wickets from 23 Tests and was somewhat effective in the longest format. Also, in 38 ODIs and 11 T20Is, the speedster picked up 46 and 13 wickets respectively.

Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer (Credits: Twitter)

We’ll See How He Goes On Later On: Jofra Archer After Being Outpaced By Naseem Shah

England pacer Jofra Archer has reacted to Pakistan pace sensation Naseem Shah outpacing him in the ongoing first Test in Manchester. In his first media interaction since starring for England last summer, Jofra Archer insisted that he was unfazed by Naseem outpacing him.

The 17-year old is clearly the fastest bowler in the game so far. He constantly touched the 90mph mark while Jofra Archer’s speed was hovering to Archer’s speeds in the mid-80s. Jofra Archer has faced criticism in recent times for the drop in his pace. However, the Barbados-born pacer once again made it clear that he is not too worried by it. He also said that he is very interested in seeing how Naseem bowls later in the game.

“It’s not deliberate. It’s not every day you’re going to come in at 90mph,” Jofra Archer told Sky Sports.

“I’ve seen Shah started bowling 90mph so we’ll see how he goes on later on tomorrow morning or afternoon. No one is a robot, so I’ll be very, very interested to see what he can produce a bit later. This is not a wicket you’re really going to try to bend your back on. It’s spinning on day two so that says a lot,” he added.

Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan in driver’s seat:

England are staring down the barrel after Pakistan’s impressive display with the bat and ball on the first two days of the game. Pakistan opener Masood worked his way to 156 to help the visitors pile up a competitive total of 326 all out. He added 105 with Shadab Khan for the sixth wicket to put Pakistan in the driver’s seat.

In reply, England finished the day on 92 for 4. Rory Burns was lbw to Shaheen Afridi in the first over and Dom Sibley fell in the same way to Mohammad Abbas. Abbas then castled in-form Ben Stokes to leave England reeling at 12 for 3. Captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope managed to add 50 before the former was caught behind off the leg-spin of Yasir Shah for 14. Pope ended unbeaten on 46 while giving him company was Jos Buttler.

Also Read: CPL 2020: 162 players, Officials, And Administrators Test Negative For COVID-19

Also Read: IPL: MS Dhoni Hits The Nets As Veteran Gears Up For His Much-Anticipated Return

Naseem Shah And Shaheen Afridi
Naseem Shah And Shaheen Afridi. Image Credit: Getty Images.

England vs Pakistan 2020: Naseem Shah And Shaheen Afridi Might Be The Next Waqar Younis And Wasim Akram – Michael Vaughan

Pakistan youngster Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi are neither the experienced first-class cricketer nor they have not played many international matches but Michael Vaughan finds future in them. Former England captain has said that the two might be the next Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram for Pakistan cricket team.

Naseem Shah, the 17-year-old pacer, was included in Pakistan’s Test side against Australia series last year in November. He has so far played four Tests and picked 17 wickets, which also include hat-trick.

On the other hand, the 20-year-old Shaheen Afridi has played eight Tests and picked 30 wickets, including three four-wicket hauls and one five-wicket haul. Everyone had high hopes from the two young guns in the three-match Test series against Pakistan.

Michael Vaughan on Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi’s future:

michael vaughan, Pakistan tour of England 2020
Michael Vaughan. Image Credit: Twitter.

In the ongoing first Test match, Pakistan has selected Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi in the fast bowling department.

Michael Vaughan seems to be okay with the visitor’s strategy of selecting young players, stating that they are high class.

“I understand why Misbah wants to play two spinners against England. Whichever way it goes, you are still going to have Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi,” Vaughan told Cricbuzz.

Naseem Shah And Shaheen Afridi
Naseem Shah And Shaheen Afridi. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Vaughan said that after five years, Nassem and Afridi’s partnership would become like Waqar and Wasim shared during their era. He added that the two youngsters are becoming better and better.

“They are high class. Particularly that young pair, we are probably talking about the new Wasim and Waqar in five years’ time, with the amount of cricket that they are going to play together.

“I was fortunate to see Naseem Shah make his debut and he is high class. He has got a wonderful action. Shaheen Afridi seems to be getting better and better. With the Dukes ball, Mohammad Abbas is going to move it and bring the batsman forward, which is exactly what you require.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan is playing the first Test series since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March. They are currently playing the opening Test of three-match series in Manchester.

Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah. Image Credit: Getty Images.

I Feel Good When I See Fear In Batsman’s Eyes – Naseem Shah Issues Warning To England

Pakistan has always been known to be the hub of fast bowling production. The latest entry into Pakistan pace battery, Naseem Shah has issued a warning to England before the first Test match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Shah, who is only 17-years old, has stated that he feels good when he sees the fear in the batsman’s eyes. The prodigy fast bowler is known to bowl consistently above 145 km/h and thus he can breathe down the neck of the opposition batsmen with the extra pace under his repertoire.

Shah stated he always wanted to bowl as fast as he could from his childhood days and loved threatening the batsman with the extra pace. The 17-year old has shown the right skills to go a long way in his career and he would like to perform at his best against England in the forthcoming series.

I Feel Good When I See Fear In Batsman's Eyes - Naseem Shah Issues Warning To England 1
Naseem Shah. Twitter

Naseem Shah has the pace under his belt

The greenhorn fast bowler didn’t have the best of debuts against Australia and it was not easy for him as he had lost his mother. However, he was able to make a solid comeback and claimed a hat-trick against Bangladesh, thus becoming the youngest bowler in the Test history to take three wickets in three balls.

Naseem Shah said while talking to, “It was an incredible moment. The best thing about it was that it was in front of my countrymen at Rawalpindi. Pakistan has been starved of international cricket for many years and I hope it was a special moment for fans who were at the ground. I hope it’s the first of many records I can break, but above all, it meant that I had helped my country towards victory.”

Shah added that he always wanted to be a fast bowler and always wanted to bowl fast. The right-arm fast bowler has a smooth action and he can go on to become one of the best ever produced by Pakistan.

Waqar Younis, Mohammad Amir
Waqar Younis. Image Credit: Twitter

“I always wanted to be a fast bowler and even in my school days, I loved to scare batsmen by bowling fast. I feel good when I see fear in the batsman’s eyes, it motivates me to bowl even faster.”

Shah is training under the watchful eyes of Waqar Younis, who is the bowling coach of Pakistan. Earlier, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq had stated that Naseem Shah has the skills to win matches on his own for the team. Shah had scalped four wickets for Team Green in the intra-squad warm-up match against Team White at Derby and looked in fine form.

The first Test match between England and Pakistan will take place at Old Trafford, Manchester from August 5.

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